Balch Creek Pollinator Habitat

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We create management plans with many woodland owners in our District and often recommend ways to improve wildlife habitat. We like to recommend enhanced pollinator habitat, and woodland owners are frequently interested in adding this feature near their houses or gardens.

We recently created a management plan on a 16-acre private property in Upper Balch Canyon. One of the areas we addressed was getting rid of Himalayan blackberry on a steep slope behind the house. The first step was to treat the blackberry with herbicide to clear a space for more desirable plants. We needed to install lots of native plants as soon as we could to help stabilize the bank, so a large variety of native shrubs were ordered and planted in 2015. The species were chosen based on when they would bloom. We planted willow that blooms in the early spring; oceanspray that blooms in late July and many shrubs that bloom in the months in-between.

The native pollinator hedgerow was perfect in this area since it was located along an opening at the edge of the forest, and also in an area where the homeowner was planning to place honeybee hives. Planting the shrubs densely will help keep the hillside from eroding. Songbirds and other wildlife are also sure to use this area as it grows more dense with mature shrubs in the coming years.