Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Streamside planting

Key points in restoration planting

  • Planting plan
  • Matching plants to site
  • Ongoing maintenance

10 Steps to planting and restoring a waterway

  1. Get to know your stream over different seasons, especially potential flood levels.
  2. Seek advice on resource consent, design and possible assistance from councils.
  3. Prepare a planting plan:
    • Compile a list of plant species for each zone identified along the stream bank. Observe local streams where plant species have been successfully established.
    • Space plants on the plan according to the zone and desired effect.
    • Fencing needs to be stockproof – electrified 2-3 wires or permanent if power isn’t available.
  4. Order plants well in advance.
  5. Planting season:
    • Bare root plants – during winter or early spring
    • Container grown – from autumn to spring 
  6. Preparing the site
    • Remove invasive weeds and clear all vegetation for  half a metre around each planting spot.
  7. Set out plants according to their zone and eventual size.
  8. When planting, dig a hole deeper and broader than the root system.
    Never cram the roots and firm the soil to exclude the air gaps. Do not allow the roots to dry in the sun. The first two years after planting are critical for young plants. Good survival and growth are strongly dependent on the control of all surrounding vegetation to reduce the competition for moisture and nutrients. On wet sites, plant on a mound to avoid waterlogging, and on dry sites plant into a deeper hole leaving a depression to catch rainfall.
  9. Weed control, mulching and fertiliser.
    • Keep a 1 metre area around your trees free of competing grass and weeds, mulch to conserve soil moisture and inhibit new weed growth; specific herbicide mixes vary so seek advice from your local supplier, contractors and consultants.
    • If required, fertilise in the second year after planting, using a balanced NPK fertiliser such as Nitrophoska blue extra.
  10. Ongoing maintenance
    • Make regular checks in the first two years; replace plants that have died
    • Controlling competing weeds is essential, as they will quickly smother young plants
    • Check fences remain stockproof, and control possums, rabbits and hares.
    • As the plants cover the site and achieve canopy closure, ongoing maintenance is greatly reduced.

Benefits of well-managed waterways

  • Reduced stock losses and easier stock management
  • Reduced erosion, sedimentation and pugging
  • Recreational opportunities such as fishing and duck shooting
  • Enhanced farm landscape with potential income from timber tree production
  • Enhanced wildlife and stream habitat
  • Reduced nutrient runoff into waterway

Zone A
Margin Waterlogged Soils
Plants that will tolerate prolonged waterlogged soils. For use along the waters edge, swamps and spring seepage areas.

Sedges Carex buchananii
Rushes Carex flagellifera
Tussock Carex secta
Tussock Carex ventosa
Flax Phormium tenax
Swamp cypress Taxodium distichum
Dawn redwood Metasequoia

River birch Betula nigra
Willow Salix alba ‘kinuyanagi’

Zone B
Lower Bank Plantings
These do not tolerate waterlogged soils or flooding for any length of time.

Cabbage tree Coryline australis
Toe toe Cortaderia richardii
Manuka Leptospermum scoparium
Kohuhu Pittosporum tenufolium
Lemonwood Pittosporum eugenoides
Kowhai Sophora microphylla
Red maple Acer rubrum
Sweet gum Liquidambar styraciflua
Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica
Willow Salix alba

Zone C
Upper Bank Trees
Trees that compliment plants in the previous zones but whose selection is for shade, aesthetics or timber

Japanese cedar Cryptomeria japonica
European ash
Fraxinus excelsior
Maidenhair tree
Gingko biloba
Oriental plane
Platanus orientalis
Crow’s Nest, Kawa, Veronese
Quercus palustris, Q. petraea x robur, Q. rubra
Redwood Sequoia sempervirens