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Old 12-14-2015, 09:07 AM
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Default Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

About a year we purchased a small riverbank lot near central Oh. on the Muskingum River. Last year we were content to just utilize the lot as is and contemplate on any improvements we'd like to consider or make.

Due to it's elevation and flood plain restrictions a lot of options have taken away by imposed restrictions, which I actually find understandable. But the one real improvement we would like to make is on the riverbank itself.

As purchased it's now covered with haphazardly dumped or thrown cement blocks that are now loosely filled with dirt or soil left by the river when it rises. There are a few scrubby elms that are growing like bushes I'm going to remove, but I'd like to replace them with something desirable with some eye appeal.

There are also some native weeds that bloom like flowers we fully into to keep and hopefully propagate but we'd like to find other potential perennial flowers or even some ground cover that can thrive on a river bank environment. They need to be able to survive with wet feet or even being submerged awhile when the rivers up and flowing.

As of now the search engines haven't been helpful in my search so I'm hoping someone(s) on the board may have some suggestions.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

Are you looking for esthetics or erosion control?

For erosion control, it's hard to beat Gabion baskets.

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Old 12-14-2015, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
Are you looking for esthetics or erosion control?

For erosion control, it's hard to beat Gabion baskets.
Gabion baskets would be great for the bottom three or four feet of bank that experiences the most water fluctuation in general nothing really grows at that level anywhere on the river. But the costs of permitting and renting a fair size track-hoe with the reach to do the job alone would break my budget before I even purchased the baskets and stone to fill them.

1012141310.jpg

This is a photo of the river bank as it was when purchased. Unfortunately I don't have a photo taken from the river view of the bank. The dock and ramp as seen in this photo have already been upgraded and replaced.

What we'd like to do is this. Get some filter fabric and place it along the bottom four or five feet of bank and then place a layer of decent looking fairly large stone on top of it to cover the fabric up. From the stone up I'd like to find some nice vegetation to sow or plant to both add eye appeal and also utilize their root system to stabilize the bank.

The tall looking weedy looking things in the middle of the photo are actually some sort of I'm thinking native flowering weed that bloomed for weeks this past summer. It was peaceful sitting on-board the boat watching the hummingbirds and an occasional hummingbird moth working it over.

I may just end up just purchasing one of the native hummingbird / butterfly mixes I've observed a few times but I'm uncertain they could survive some conditions they could experience, so I'm seeking other possible options. Water has been about a foot deep at the fire ring since we've had the place and it has the potential to possibly rise much higher so I'm also hoping to find something that can survive immersion for a period of time.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

That picture helped a lot.

I have a similar hill but mine doesn't dump into a river.

I used road fabric (the cloth you put under a stone driveway) and covered the hill all the way to the top. I then got a dump truck load of 6" rocks and just dumped them on the hill and finished placement by hand. You could then remove a rock or 2, cut a hole in the cloth and plant what you want, where you want it. The cloth will stop any other weeds from coming up.
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Old 12-14-2015, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

Here's a picture. Look beyond the garden on the steep part of the hill. That's all rocks but they're covered in the picture with leaves when I took the pic.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG8559.JPG (355.1 KB, 30 views)
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

It is often hard to find someone who will carry it but crusher run riprap (with basketball sized boulders down to fines) would do nicely. I would skip the fabric and just dump from the top of the hill. Then us a backhoe to push pieces about.

or back hoe to dump strategically from a pile. But you will then need a big bucket.

Cover the lower section at the water and up the bank to normal flood. In the top of the bank refresh with topsoil and plant something like Muskingum Sedge ( or even Pennsylvania sedge), and then plan clumps of fragrant Sumac ( a cultivar)
Cover bare soil with ground tree limbs or commercial wood mulch.
Muskingum Sedge, or Palm Sedge, is a distinctive sedge that has abundant uniquely palm-shaped leaves and large slender flowering spikes. It is a good choice for ground cover in wet locations. Its leaves forms small clumps through its short rhizomes. It naturally occurs in river floodplains as well as bottomland forests, swamps, and sloughs. Mostly absent from the Ozarks. Flowering stems and vegetative stems are roughly the same height. Leaves are green to light green, flowers are usually lightly curved or occasionally erect and are present from May to October.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_aromatica


Both the sumac and the sedge have heavy rhizome root systems which hold the soil well. The Sedge is a semi tall native grass that needs no cutting.

Goats beard may work but it is hard to find. Oak leaf Hydrangeas are relatively cheap and easy to locate wild and/or as cultivars. neither grows much over 3 feet high. All will tolerate the limestone ( broken concrete blocks)

In Missouri we have orange blossomed Trumpet vines. They may be indigenous to Ohio ( I have seen them on the Little Wabash) as well. These work good as a ground cover.
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Last edited by FrancSevin; 12-14-2015 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

I'm indebted to see your suggestions... And that is a wonderful looking back yard. Rip rap and fabric is commonly used on a lot of properties along the river. It does it's job and stabilizes the bank well but after a high water event it leaves property owners a huge mass of flood mud over the rock which they then spend hours flushing back into the river again.

With live plants I'm hoping that the newly deposited mud will end up contributing to the riverbank and plantings. I was able to source some of your suggestions Franc and the one native to the river suggested shade. Goats beard as a plant no luck yet, but I've eaten a wonderful fall mushroom introduced to me as Goats Beard numerous times and it's real tasty sauteed in butter.

I may not even attempt to do this all at once, but I do want to get at least some desirable vegetation started on the upper half of the bank.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Stream / Riverbank Stabilization Ideas Wanted

Goatsbeard is a gathered cultivar as best I can find.
Like white Astilbe but a woody shrub and apparently can grow 6 feet high. I have never seen it over three feet myself.


Here's a link to goatsbeard
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-d...al/goatsbeard/
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