Dennis Sons of Tn Nursery states that native and wetland plants are essential in preservation and restoration. Vibrant stands of native plants growing in a thriving wetland environment are some of nature’s best defenses against catastrophic events. Whether caused by man or mother nature, soil erosion and dwindling nutrient-rich plants and trees lead to events that hurt the heart of nature and her caretakers.

Well-meaning folks who need a place to live end up in houses built on hills stripped bare of any growing, living organisms. It seldom comes as a surprise when mudslides and sinkholes inevitably appear soon after the moving vans. Worse, fires with no natural firebreak left to slow their progress tend to run rampant. Naturally occurring wetlands that served to slow fires and prevent mudslides disappear quickly when people arrive.

Given a chance, mother nature is quite forgiving. If responsible individuals step in and replenish wetlands that nourished the countryside and hills, it mitigates damage to the environment. Certain plants and trees provide essential tools that sustain or rebuild wetland areas.

Live stakes are long, hardwood cuttings that provide an effective way to protect and restore wetland environments. Using live stakes supplement any vegetation already growing and stabilizes soil along the banks of rivers or streams. Use them alone to form an inviting tree grove that provides cool shade, or with other plans to reduce eroding hillsides. Fast-growing species that take root easily include many willow species (Salix spp) and red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea).

Depending on the local conditions, several other trees are useful to live stakes. Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), salmonberry (Rubus spectacles), and many cottonwoods, including the black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) grow excellent roots for strength. Planting these live stakes stabilize road slopes and bluffs and avoid landslides. They also provide shade to choke invasive weeds.

Folks learned how to protect live stakes during the first year or two while they become established. One helpful hint is to plant the stakes, so half their length is buried in the earth. Coconut fiber rolls are among plant products helpful in protecting the stakes. Many plant species grow quickly and protect the fledgling live stakes.

Some popular wetland plants provide multiple benefits to sustaining and repairing the wetland environment. These include the tall, green and lovely wood reedgrass and the shorter riverbank wild rye. Both kinds of grass are essential parts of healthy stream banks and floodplains. They produce seeds enjoyed by many birds and animals.

Hard stem bulrush plants, along with fox sedge, are wetland natives that attract birds and deter soil erosion. Other native wetland plants include the three square rush, which regenerates saltwater stands and brackish marshes. Grasses, rushes, and the sedge family plants mitigate against problems by maintaining healthy, strong wetlands,

While the goal might be to repopulate the wetland area with birds and animals, take precautions to protect live stakes from wildlife mowing them down. Gentle beavers will level entire stands of poplars and other wetland trees unless deterred by protective fencing. Discourage deer and other animals from feeding on the saplings, but enjoy the birds and animals that thrive once the live stakes become established full trees.