BEST PLANTS, BEST PRACTICES

A guide to conservation planting for Napa County and beyond

CONSERVATION STORY:

Channel Bank Vegetation (322) at Scott Creek

Project size: 1200 long channel, planting on both sides of channel, up to 10 from channel

In Fall 2009, the Napa County RCD partnered with a landowner in the Carneros Creek watershed to removed THE major source of sediment input into Carneros Creek. Three eroding earthen dams were excavated from a 1200-foot stretch of Scott Creek (a tributary of Carneros Creek), and the slopes of the steep channel were laid back to prevent future erosion.

Sediment is a major pollutant of waterways in the Napa River watershed; sediment has a detrimental effect on the ability of fish eggs to survive and hatch. Since Carneros Creek is a Steelhead trout (threatened species) bearing creek, it is important to protect this habitat by reducing as much erosion into Carneros creek as possible.

Since the slopes on the project after the excavation work were bare, it was important to plant native plants to keep the soil in place, and to provide habitat for wildlife. With Harvest Middle School students over two days, 1000 native tree, shrubs, and perennials were planted on the banks.

All plants were protected from herbivores by growtubes, and protected from weed competition by mulch.

Since the 2009 planting, Boy Scouts, New Tech High School students, and Saintsbury Winery staff have added more grasses and insectary plants to the channel banks.

Trees and shrubs were irrigated during the first two summers. Weed management has required ongoing attention, weedwackers have been deployed annually, and blackberry, thistles, and broom have been removed by minimal herbicide and volunteers using hand tools.

What the site looked like before any work (June, 2009)
The planting crew on November 19, 2009
After the first planting (December, 2009)
21 months later
(August, 2011)
 

THE PLANT LIST

TREES
Acer macrophyllum Bigleaf maple
Acer negundo Box elder
Aesculus californica California Buckeye
Fraxinus latifolia Oregon ash
Juglans hindsii Black Walnut
Populus fremontii Cottonwood
Quercus lobata Valley oak
Quercus agrifolia Coast live oak
Umbellularia californica California Bay laurel
Salix lasiolepis Arroyo willow
SHRUBS
Artemisia californica Coastal sage
Baccharis pilularis Coyote bush
Calycanthus occidentalis Western spice bush
Heteromeles arbutifolia Toyon
Mimulus aurantiacus sticky monkey flower
Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum Pink-flowering currant
Rosa californica California rose
Symphoricarpos rivularis Snowberry
HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS
Achillea millefolium Yarrow
Aristolochia californica Pipevine
Lonicera hispidula Honeysuckle
Lonicera involucrata Twinberry
Scrophularia californica Bee plant
Polystichum munitum Sword fern
Salvia mellifera Black sage
Eriogonum umbellatum sierra sulfur buckwheat
GRASSES, SEDGES, AND RUSHES
Leymus triticoides Creeping wild rye
Hordeum brachyantherum Meadow barley
Nassella pulchra Purple needle grass
Carex nudata Torrent sedge
Carex barbarae Santa Barbara sedge
Juncus patens spreading rush