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Native Plant Materials Development
Over the last five years, Tamarisk Coalition has been partnering with a number of entities to develop a supply of locally sourced native plants. With several watershed partnership groups focused on the restoration of large acreage of riparian and upland habitat, Tamarisk Coalition recognized an emerging need for plant materials adapted to conditions found along Southwestern rivers post-tamarisk and Russian olive removal. To date, focus has been on the development of a cottonwood pole farm and longstem plant materials.
Cottonwood Pole Farm
Tamarisk Coalition partnered with a private landowner to install a cottonwood farm on his property in western Colorado to provide a supply of dormant poles for revegetation efforts. Like many other woody riparian species, cottonwoods can form adventitious roots along their trunks upon planting, making them ideal for this form of propagation. Trees are available for harvest during the winter months. Bulk purchases are available, as are planting services. Contact Tamarisk Coalition or Stan Young at 970-216-8112 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and pricing specifics. Poles have been used in several projects along the Colorado and Dolores Rivers; if you'd like to see what they look like after planting, please give us a call and we'd be happy to show you a site.
The trees that are currently being used to supply pole stock at the farm were planted by the Western Colorado Conservation Corps and Colorado State Forest Service in 2011 and 2012 from seedlings started from seed and cuttings collected along the Dolores and Colorado Rivers.
Longstem Plant Materials
Longstem plantings are rooted materials, typically woody species, that can form adventitious roots along their stems once planted. One benefit of using longstem materials is that the root ball of the plant is placed in contact with the capillary fringe upon planting, thereby minimizing the need for supplemental irrigation. Longstems can be produced in a variety of containers, ranging from small tubes to tallpots, which can vary in height from 12"-36".
Each container size has its unique advantages and drawbacks. For example, tallpots facilitate extensive root development; however, they can also be time consuming to install, depending on site and soil conditions. While smaller containers limit root development, they are easy to to install in more remote settings and an auger or heavy equipment are not required.
Tamarisk Coalition has been working with Upper Colorado Environmental Plant Center, Colorado State Forest Service, and Wildland Scapes Nursery to develop longstem materials. Plants in development include: three-leaf sumac, golden current, wax current, silverleaf buffaloberry, wild rose, river birch, box elder, baccharis, New Mexico privet, netleaf hackberry, Gambel oak, mountain mahogany, redbud, four-wing saltbush, and various cottonwood and willow species.
While many of these plants are targeted for the Dolores River Restoration Partnership and the Escalante River Watershed Partnership, many are available for sale for use in other areas; please contact Tamarisk Coalition or the nurseries listed above for more information and species availablity. Los Lunas Plant Materials Center, who pioneered the development of this technology in the southwest, also sells a variety of longstem materials at its nursery in Los Lunas, New Mexico. For more information on how to plant these materials, please visit the Resource Center.