En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - October 03, 2010

From: Binghamton, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants to prevent riverbank erosion in NY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm doing research into riverbank erosion in Broome County, NY, and I was wondering if you had some sort of resource that would be able to tell me which species of grasses, shrubs, and trees native to Broome County are best for reducing/eliminating erosion.

ANSWER:

Plants that have fibrous root systems or spread by runners are the best for preventing erosion.

You can select plants native to NY by searching our Plant Database using the Combination Search feature and selecting the plant type (trees, shrubs or grasses) and light and moisture conditions. You will also find the Evergreen.ca database helpful since most of the plants native to your area are also native to Ontario. On their Advanced Search page simply select Ontario, native species only, Riparian Habitat and check yes for erosion control.  You can cross reference that list of 67 plants with the combination searches for NY on our database and select plants that are readily available in your area.

Here are some of my favourites from those lists:

Grasses

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye or canada wild rye)

Hierochloe odorata (Sweetgrass)

Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Softstem bulrush)

Shrubs

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush)

Cornus sericea (Redosier dogwood)

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

Rubus odoratus (Purpleflowering raspberry)

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (Common elderberry)

Spiraea alba (White meadowsweet)

Trees

Abies balsamea (Balsam fir)   Images (from Evergreen.ca)

Acer rubrum (Red maple)

Larix laricina (American larch) Images (from Evergreen.ca)

Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry)

Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae)


Elymus canadensis


Hierochloe odorata


Panicum virgatum


Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi


Cephalanthus occidentalis


Cornus sericea


Physocarpus opulifolius


Rubus odoratus


Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis


Spiraea alba


Acer rubrum


Prunus virginiana


Thuja occidentalis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Erosion Control Questions

Plants to prevent bank erosion in Virginia
April 02, 2009 - I am looking for good native plant choices for a steep river bank. My driveway is at the top of this slope, so I will need to avoid any plants that would cause erosion. I would prefer low shrubs.
view the full question and answer

Plants for controlling erosion on a cleared slope in Ohio
April 29, 2009 - I live in Cincinnati, OH. BP owns a pipeline which runs thru part of my property. They clear out all the large trees every few years, so that it is visible from the air. Our area is surrounded by M...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and small trees for a slope in NY
May 21, 2012 - We are looking for a living wall made of shrubs / small trees - no more than 25' for the top of a steep creek bed. We are looking for the best erosion preventing types.
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in shade in Iowa
July 02, 2010 - I work for a small non-profit shelter here in Dubuque, Ia. that has a very steep slope behind the building that needs some sort of plant or grass planted to stop erosion. The slope gets little to no s...
view the full question and answer

Stopping Soil Erosion on a Slope
May 13, 2013 - I live in Bonaire, GA and have a slope in my back yard. The soil is red clay and it gets sun most of the day. A small section of this slope tends to have a mudslide to the bottom of the slope. How ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center