Streamside Plantings

Streamside Trees - First Line of Defense for Clean Streams!

Streams need a physical space - a buffer composed of trees and shrubs - that protects the water from the harmful effects of human activity.  While a robust buffer is about 100 feet on each side of the stream, buffers of even 10 to 25 feet can be helpful.

"Good" Stream "Bad" Stream

What buffers do -

  • Take up nutrients - especially nitrogen. Too much nitrogen is a real problem.  Algae love it but when they die they leave behind a "dead zone"." Dead" because it has no oxygen. Result - fish die!
  • Stabilize stream banks. Prevents erosion and slows water flow so the underground spaces that store water can be refilled. For those of us on well water this is really important.
  • Provide shade so stream is cooler. Both the fish, and the insects in the stream that the fish feed on, require cool water.  They can actually die if it gets too warm.
  • Reduce soil levels in stream. Traps soil from runoff. Good for the insect larvae in the stream that are attached to rocks/pebbles.  Would you like to be covered with silt?
  • Provide food and cover for wildlife. Gives them a good place to hang out and raise their young.


If your stream resembles "Bad" Stream contact us. We will discuss what kind of buffer you wold like and the types of plants you want.

Planting in other areas -

We are also interested in planting shrubs and trees on land that is not adjacent to streams.  Contact us for a site visit.