I thought I would share this info with the folks here.
Not sure if this is the right section.
Where there's a willow, there's a way
The lowly willow bush grows like a weed and has been of little use to people except as willow switches to keep children on the virtuous path.
But conservation districts across Manitoba are having great results planting willow bushes for erosion control on our lakes and rivers.
Conservationists love the willow's aggressive root system. The roots act like rebar, holding soil in place so it doesn't fall into water systems.
"Willows are the perfect species for this environment. They're easy to harvest, easy to plant, and their rooting mass is so large," said Armand Belanger, manager of the East Interlake Conservation District, based out of Gimli.
tel jetson wrote:there's a thread on here somewhere about making woven retaining walls for stream bank stabilization out of live willows. I can't remember what the practice is called, though, so I can't find the thread. pretty neat trick, though.
In Germany it falls into the field of "Ingenieurbiologie" (usually translated as soil/water bioengineering). I don't have any English-language sources at hand but there is a nice German-language university script at
with lots of detailed images (drawings).
And there is a multi-language book with photos: http://www.amazon.com/Ingenieurbiologie/dp/3728130559/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336835492&sr=8-1
You end up with a living 'chain-link' fence for minimal expense and labor.