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LSP Report LS7010

To Investigate the Establishment, Subsequent Growth
and Erosion Control Potential of Certain Tree & Shrub
Species on Gully and Stream


Researcher: A. Skepasts, Head, Agronomy Section, NLCAT, Principal Researcher

Funding: $30,542


  1. To show how gulley/stream bank stabilization will prevent further erosion and consequent loss of arable soil. Little information is available regarding the effectiveness of tree or shrub species in stream bank/gully erosion control.

Expected Benefits

  1. Loss of soil due to gully and stream bank erosion will be prevented, land slides curtailed and stream bed silting will be reduced.

Summary of Research Results

Three of the four species planted in 1989 established successfully. The rather poor establishment of snowberry may have resulted from dry weather during and following transplanting. By the spring of 1993, Norway spruce appeared to have suffered severe dieback, possibly due to the unusual weather during the fall and winter of 1992. The two remaining species, red osier dogwood and highbush cranberry appear to have survived. Data showed that highbush cranberry increased in height rapidly in the two years after transplanting, while both species rapidly increased in width.

Erosion of the gully bank due to surface runoff was not a serious problem during the course of this project. The tree and shrub cover, along with existing grasses, protected the slope from rainfall and spring runoff. In addition, the surviving species are providing cover for wildlife in the gully.

Slipping of the gully bank was apparently a result of streambank undercutting. This is largely a natural occurrence where streams flow through clay gullies; however, the actions of beavers may have increased streambank erosion in this case. Erosion control structures along the streambank would be required to control the undercutting and hence eliminate the slipping of the gully banks.




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Created: 03-23-1996
Last Revised: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 01:01:36 PM