Home Native Plant Network Journal Articles Sex and the single Salix: considerations for riparian restoration.

Native Plants Journal - Article

Sex and the single Salix: considerations for riparian restoration.


Most restoration projects strive to create a sustainable plant community but exclusive use of vegetatively propagated material may be preventing this goal. The dioecious willows and cottonwoods of the Salicaceae are widely used in riparian restoration projects.
Hardwood cuttings have traditionally been used to propagate these species in nurseries, and live stakes, branched cuttings, and poles are also used in bioengineering
structures for bank stabilization. Woody cuttings are collected either from the project
site or from stooling beds in nurseries during the winter dormant period. Unfortunately,
little attention has been given to the sex of the donor plants. The potential problem is
that a proper mixture of male and female plants may not be present in the hardwood
cuttings or rooted cuttings destined for the restoration site -in the worst case they may be entirely 1 sex or the other. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to distinguish male and
female plants. Collecting cuttings from many different plants and from a known ratio of males and females will ensure that the resultant plants will be able to produce viable seeds and achieve the ultimate goal of a sustainable plant community.

Issue & Pages:

Fall 2003 Pages: 110-117

Article Download:

4-2NPJ110-117.pdf (PDF document)


  • Thomas D Landis
  • David R Dreesen
  • R Kasten Dumroese


Salicaceae, Populus, seed collection, seed propagation

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