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Abstract: Session G  2:30 pm (Back to Session G)
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Natives in HEL!  How to Establish Native Plants in Highly Erodible Land

Robert Hoffman
Roundstone Native Seed, LLC
Upton, KY

Debunking the myth that natives Species do not work on Highly Erodible Land (HEL). The what: “Native are just too hard to establish” For so long we have instantly gone to using introduced species when steep slopes are involved. Even still today we have government regulations that are requiring the contractor to use introduced species over natives. During the early years natives’ species establishment, stand failures were a common occurrence. Follow that up with natives’ slow growth habitats and bunch forming characteristics has lead people not to trust them for erosion control. The How: We have explored the use of native species for these areas and have found that they are up to the task. This presentation will look at several project sites that have highly erodible areas where native species are the solution. We will look at each sites’ project goals and the technique for establishment that led to their success. Each project site used a different technique to achieve the main goal of erosion control while achieving their secondary goal. Techniques for establishment include the use of nurse crops, no-till, hydroseeding, and plugs. Some of the projects secondary goals include woody suppression, lower maintenance, pollinator habitat, and aesthetics. Following different partner projects through planning to the establishment and how each one became a success with real-world achievements. The Why: We look at why native plants characteristics make them ideal for use in highly erodible lands and what they can provide well beyond just wildlife habitat.