Streambank Revegetation and Protection: A Guide for Alaska
Plant Species Selection Lists

The following pages provide suggestions for native plant species to be used in streambank revegetation projects. Most grasses are available commercially (See the "Directory of Alaska Native Plant Sources"). Sedges and other wetland plants may be commercially available in the future. Other plant species may be suitable for specific project sites and may need to be obtained through custom seed collections and plant propagation efforts.

Seedling production of willows, poplar and aspen can be challenging because the seed maintains its viability for only 10-14 days. Seed needs to be collected, cleaned and seeded into pots or placed in a plastic bag and stored in a freezer. Experience has shown that willow seed can be kept frozen for 2 years and maintain its viability.

The willows and other species suited for dormant cuttings are listed. Alders, poplar, aspen, Bebb Willow and Scouler Willow are not suited for dormant cuttings even though they are common plants in Southcentral Alaska. As rooted plants, they can be used for hedge-brush layers or transplants.

Aspen is a clonal plant and sends new shoots up from the roots. Segments of roots with buds (root cuttings) can be used to propagate this species.

Birch, White, Black and Sitka Spruce should be used only as transplants or grown as seedlings. Their trunks cannot be buried above the original soil level.

Consult Viereck and Little's Alaska Trees and Shrubs, 1972, for plant descriptions of species found within range of the project site.

The wetland indicator status is listed for the woody plants suited for dormant cuttings. The information is derived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National List of Plant Species that Occur in Wetlands: Alaska (Region A), Biological Report 88(26.11), 1988. The document describes 5 indicator categories, three of which apply to the plant list: facultative wetland (FACW), facultative (FAC), facultative upland (FACU).

  • A plant that is FACW occurs 66-99 percent of the time in a wetland.
  • A FAC plant occurs either in a wetland or non-wetland environment.
  • A FACU plant usually (67-99 percent of the time) occurs in non-wetland environment, but can occur in a wetland environment 33 percent of the time or less.