Gathering willow whips for construction of live fascines. Willows (Salix species) and Poplars (Populus species) are among the most commonly used groups of woody plants because they grow easily from cuttings.


Suitability of plants for biotechnical stabilization < previous | 1 | 2 |

Selection of appropriate species is a major determinant of success for a project. Choices should be based upon: 1) the compatibility of the plants with the site; and 2) the ability that they have to achieve one's objectives. Both of these factors depend upon proper placement within the site. What is more, placement be planned so as to not create new problems by interfering with other uses. Finally, ongoing management may be necessary to mitigate undesirable characteristics of the plants. Ideally however, species should be selected to minimize such maintenance.

Coppin and Richards (1990) divided plants into four broad categories based on their suitability for biotechnical stabilization: grasses, herbs, shrubs, and trees. The advantages and disadvantages of each are examined below.



The advantages of grasses are that they are:

The disadvantages of grasses are that they are:





The advantages of herbs are that they are:

The disadvantages are that:





The advantages of shrubs are that:

The disadvantages of shrubs are that:





The advantages of trees are that:

The disadvantages of trees are that:

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Grasses generally have fine shallow roots


Herbs generally have deeper more substantial roots than grasses


Shrubs have deeper stronger roots than the previous categories


Trees have deep substantial roots with significant strength