Trees for Streams

What is Trees For Streams

Trees for Streams is a program that assists landowners to plant trees in riparian ares to help protect water quality.

Stream buffer planting projects to help protect water quality

Trees and shrubs planted along waterways provide more than just a pretty landscape. They help protect water quality by removing sediment and excess nutrients before they reach the surface water. Vegetated buffers can also help to mitigate flooding, prevent erosion, reduce stream temperatures and provide important habitat for wildlife.

The District is targeting sites in Basin 14 (roughly the towns of: Topsham, Newbury, Corinth, Bradford, Vershire, West Fairlee, Strafford, Thetford and Norwich) for future projects.

The District Commitment:

  • The District will visit the site, discuss the project and determine the site suitability with the landowner

  • The District will secure funding so that there is no cost to the landowner.

  • The District will order plant material and coordinate a crew to install the plants

Once the site is selected for a Trees for Streams project, a comprehensive site evaluation will need to be completed. This helps to determine the ecological conditions of the site such as the natural communities, soil types or presence of invasive species. Collecting this information is critical for a successful project.

Plantings usually occur in the spring when the weather is generally cool and wet. This gives the trees an entire growing season to become established before winter. Ordinarily 250-400 stems are planted per acre with 3-5 foot stock. The District will coordinate a crew to complete the planting.

In the years following a planting landowners may remove grasses or invasive species that crowd the new plants. This may be done by hand, possibly with careful mowing, or sometimes spraying depending on the situation.

Mortality is expected with all planting projects. Difficult weather conditions, tough sites, predations and competition are just some of the factors that may decrease the chance of success. In some instances a follow up planting may be required to ensure a certain level of success.