In the temperate rainforests of western Oregon, diversity is key to high quality wildlife habitat. Wildlife need diverse food sources such as berries, leaves, nuts, and seeds and they thrive in forests that have a healthy forest floor, or understory, where much of the food and shelter is found.
Woodland owners in our area manage their forests with several objectives in mind, including keeping invasive weed species under control and providing ample wildlife habitat for a variety of species. Whether your goal is planting a shade tolerant shrub or spreading native seeds that will grow into the next forest wildflowers, it’s important to consider how to establish the plant and shrub layer of the forest to enhance native habitat.
Between 2018 and 2020, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District set out to gather new information on ways to manage the shrub layer and forest floor with a goal of reducing invasive plants and increasing and protecting diverse, native plants. We studied ways to seed understory vegetation and plant understory shrubs, and also looked at soil conditions to learn what impact soil health might have on seedling success.
Learn more about the project and findings from the study: