20 acres- need help

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Old 01-08-02, 08:56 PM
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Question 20 acres- need help

I recently bought 20 acres in No. California in wooded/forest and a few meadow areas. The house is on a very steep hill that is just wild grass. I am looking for a way to control errosion. The hill faces west and gets lots of sun (and rain in winter 60-80 inches). What can I plant that is low maint. that will set roots out deep enough to control sliding? I hesitate planting anything that needs a lot of water in summer, as the hill is slipping already. Summer time heat gets to 90s. Any ideas? I planted a few rosemary bushes, and lavender but the hill is huge (2 acres) and again, very steep, I need cleats to walk it. Funds are at a minimum.
 
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Old 01-09-02, 12:53 AM
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Hello carol koessel

There is a company in Southern Ontario (Canada - zone 5 to 6) that I've heard about that uses dogwood and shrub willow to control erosion and stabilize slopes. They basically dig trenches parallel with the slope and put bundles of native dogwood (Cornus sp.) and willow (Salix sp.) in them, kind of like wheat sheafs with the fresh cuts buried and the twig ends pointing skyward. They harvest these branches wherever they can locally, thereby minimizing the cost and since both of these plants tend to root from cuttings if you even look sideways at them, the hillsides establish and stabilize quite quickly.

Not sure what material you have locally, but there might be something that is native to Northern California. Worth a try investigating... You could ask your local University or even a Nurseryperson if there is any plant materials that fit your needs - just tell them the purpose, desired heights and make them aware that you need them to root from twigs readily.

Good Luck

Howie
 
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Old 01-15-02, 10:37 AM
Ringworm
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I'd say the cheapest way but not a final solution would be to plant some crown vetch or something of that nature, and a lil jute fabric at first.
I wouldn't even say to cover the entire hill... do strips at first and the land'll stabilize enough that the reseeding of the vetch may cover it.

Well that'll help the immediate problem of the topsoil moving, than I'd go with the willow as was suggested above. But since that takes a bit longer to establish and really get going, and requires more material, the vetch may just buy you some time.

R.Wyrm
 
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Old 01-18-02, 09:45 AM
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erosion

in my semi-humble opinion, you cannot go wrong using native plants. try contacting the Cal. Native Plant Society; they'll be glad to advise. (i used to live Ca. and was member years ago; sorry i can't give more specific info about this group.) for the long run, madrones are a stunningly beautiful shrub, and have tremedous wildlife value. same for ceanothus shrubs. you are very lucky to have 20 acres of that beautiful land, steep or not.
 
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Old 01-19-02, 06:00 AM
flopsitter
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hiya ... i am just north of Toronto, Ont. Canada ... i'd suggest Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), but i see that probably doesn't grow around there ... according to one of my books there is a similar species that grow on the west coast called Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) ... they are tough shrub/tree like plants that spread
via underground rhizomes (stollons?) ... anyways ... if you want anymore info, lemme know ..
my 2 cents .. (or 1.3 cents American)

cya
 
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Old 01-19-02, 10:13 AM
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Hi flopsitter

That would be more like .01US$ or even less now - pretty sad isn't it!?!

At least we have our own economy (such as it is...) up here - a buck will still get us four local phone calls, two Toronto Suns or a 3/4 cup of bad coffee

I thought about sumac, but wasn't sure how readily it roots from cuttings. Good suggestion, though! - Ur right - it does tend to spread like wildfire once established.

Howie
 
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Old 01-19-02, 11:45 AM
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Planting to check soil erosion

Your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent can be a wonderful source of free advice, especially in regard to recommending native plant species and where to get them.
 
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Old 01-24-02, 09:21 AM
texastrees
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go native

I absolutely agree with the native plant suggestion. Your native grasses will have deeper roots to stabilize the soil much better than vines or turf grasses. Look for species that are designated as runners and clump grasses. Using a mixture of these will not only fight the erosion problem, but they're beautiful when used together throughout each season. Try your ag extension svc and also any college or university with an Agronomy department for more information. Good luck!
 
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Old 01-24-02, 10:45 PM
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Smile 20 acres

Wow! Thanks everyone, I have plenty of work to do now. I love this site, everyone is so helpful. Thank you all.
 
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Old 01-26-02, 04:11 PM
Trent Bridley
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plantings

Hi,
Try your state forestry department, and the ag college in your state, and the co-op extention in your area. I also would check with them about plantings around your house considering the fire hazards that exist in Ca., and the fact that you are wanting to to some landscape plantings.
good luck
 
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