Use of Dormant Cuttings in Riprap Revetments
Dormant stakes of willow (or other rapidly-rooting species) may be installed between the placed rock. The stakes must be installed perpendicular to the bank, and be long enough for the base ends to reach back-filled or undisturbed soil. Over time, dormant cuttings create a living root mat in the base soil underlying the revetment. The roots reinforce the soil particles and prevent wash out of fine materials between and under the rocks. The roots also improve drainage by removing soil moisture. The willow branches and leaves will dissipate additional energy along the streambank and may produce a more aesthetically pleasing view of the bank, as opposed to riprap alone.
As willows grow and mature, they lose their vigor and become subject to insect and disease problems. They also become brittle with age, causing them to break, fall into the stream and contribute to channel obstructions. These problems can be avoided by periodic pruning of the willows to a convenient height or down to a stump. They will re-sprout and maintain the function of the dormant cuttings.
Advantages of Riprap as an Erosion Treatment
- Designed for high velocities
- Provides high degree of protection
- Relative ease of installation
- Low maintenance
- Provides immediate long-term protection
Disadvantages of Riprap as an Erosion Treatment
- Limited access to the site can make construction difficult
- Heavy machinery may be required to position rock
- Material costs (including transportation) may be expensive
- Often used to hold streams in an unstable configuration
Iowa Department of Water, Air and Waste Management, 1984. How To Control Streambank Erosion
Smith, Darrell, May, 1992. "Raging Waters." Farm Journal.
State of Ohio, Department of Transportation, 1997. Construction and Material Specifications
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Central Division, 1978. Help Yourself.
This Guide is one of a series of Ohio Stream Management Guides covering a variety of watershed and stream management issues and methods of addressing stream related problems. The first several guides in the series are overview guides intended to give the reader an understanding of the functions and values of streams. For more information about stream management programs, issues and methodologies, see Guide No. 05 Index of Titles or call the ODNR Division of Water at 614/265-6740. Paper copies of the Guides are available from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Single copies are available free of charge and may be reproduced. Please contact one of the below for paper originals:
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Water
2045 Morse Road, Bldg. B
Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693
Phone: (614) 265-6740
Fax: (614) 447-9503
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