ABSTRACT: Field studies were conducted on black willow (Salix nigra)
cuttings planted for riparian zone restoration along Harland Creek,
Twentymile Creek, and Little Topashaw Creek in Mississippi, USA.
Planted cuttings were 2.5 to 3 m long and had base diameters of 2.5
to 7.5 cm. Streams were unstable, deeply incised sand bed channels
with eroding banks 1 to 6 m high. Soil texture, redox potential (Eh),
depth to water table, and willow survival were monitored for two to
three years after planting. While many factors influence willow cuttings
at restoration sites, soil texture and moisture are key to plant success.
In these studies, plant survival and growth were best for cuttings
planted in soils with less than 40 percent silt-clay content and a water
table 0.5 m to 1.0 m below the soil surface during the growing season.
These conditions produced soil Eh greater than approximately 200 mV
and were most often observed 1 to 2 m higher than the bank toe.
These findings suggest criteria useful for preplanting site evaluations.
Additional evidence suggests that preplanting soaking enhances per-
formance of black willow cuttings. Additional factors (channel erosion,
herbivory by beaver, and competition from exotics) may control per-
formance over periods longer than two to three years.
(KEY TERMS: riverbank; restoration; incised channel; willow post;
streambank erosion; riparian zones.)
Pezeshki, S. Reza and F. Douglas Shields, Jr., 2006. Black Willow Cut-
ting Survival in Streambank Plantings, Southeastern United States.
Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA)
In the southeastern United States, riverbanks and
stream corridors are often subject to erosion that
degrades water quality and degrades associated habi-
tats. However, there are opportunities for riverbank
restoration using techniques that help control erosion
while improving habitat conditions. These techniques
include planting vegetation, particularly woody
species, on eroding banks. Willow cuttings, otherwise