erosion control plants for shade

james_va(z6/7 VA)April 2, 2004


I am trying to help my dad with erosion around a small stream (about 6-10 ft. wide, 6"-2.5' deep, concave embankment rises 4-6' above stream) in his backyard. The soil is mostly clay, with some sand and loam, and the concavity of the banks, presumably combined with growing (heavier) trees along those banks, is leading to trees leaning across the creek as their support washes out from under them, and as they themselves get heavier.

Some trees have been removed this year, but it's partial to full shade, although not extremely dense full shade, if that makes sense.

Can anyone suggest aggressive-rooting erosion control plants--groundcover, bushes, etc., but probably not large, heavy trees--that might help? Thanks,


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ourbackyard(South Jersey)


I have the same situation here in South Jersey. When I bought the property three years ago it was covered with some type of wild brambles and honeysuckle that were both choking everything out. I started by cutting down the undesirable mulberry trees that were blocking all of the sunlight for the good trees. But I did everything very slowly over three years. Handpulled honeysuckle. Then started replacing the brambles with azaleas and red-twig dogwood I bought cheap at an auction. The red-twig are native type and look great in the winter also.
As for ground cover, I called Bluestone Perennials and spoke with a person who was very knowlegeable. Can't remember what I bought, but it has runners and is filling out. The only thing you have to watch is putting something in that will eventually choke out everything else. Check out the Bluestone catalog, there is a section that has ground covers, but no pictures, you'll have to look them up elsewhere. But my favorite was the native red-twig dogwood, you will love it. Just remember to check the Ph before you buy any plants. Add peat to the hole when planting the red-twigs and I believe they like it slightly acidic. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red-Twig Info

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 8:28AM
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james_va(z6/7 VA)

Hi OurBackYard,

Thanks for the reply. Pardon the delay, but for some reason the "email me follow-ups" function didn't work. Anyhow, I think the red-twigged dogwood is a good idea. I have one here at my own house and enjoy its winter interest. I will look into Bluestone. Thanks!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 1:32PM
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GingerBlue(z6 MO)

When I lived in Chicago I had a shady bank that grew Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium). It is aggressive, invasive and thrives in any condition. It's herbaceous and about 18" high...don't know if that's what you are looking for. But it might help if planted in between and under a more "rooty" plant.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 11:07PM
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