Riparian Forest Buffer
Learn about riparian forest buffers, including primary Field Office Technical Guide practices, primary purposes, key design elements, and tree/shrub species requirements.
A corridor of trees and/or shrubs planted adjacent to a river, stream, wetland or water body. The planting is of sufficient width and up-gradient and near the water body to insure adequate functioning for the desired purpose.
Some Primary FOTG Practices for this System
- Riparian Forest Buffer (391)
- Streambank and Shoreline Protection (580)
- Access Control (472)
- Fencing (382)
- Prescribed Grazing (528)
- Pasture and Hay Planting (512)
Protect near-stream soils from over-bank flows, trap harmful chemicals or sediment transported by surface and subsurface flows from adjacent land uses, or provide shade, detritus and large woody debris for the in-stream ecosystem.
Key Design Elements
Corridors are planted adjacent to and more-or-less parallel with the stream bank. They must be sufficiently wide to achieve primary purposes (usually 15 to 100 feet).
Tree/Shrub Species Requirements
- Adapted to the soil and climate of the planting site.
- Tolerant of extended periods of flooding (depending on the width of the planting and distance from the streambanks).
- Moderate to aggressive root and crown spread to occupy the site quickly and provide adequate litter fall.
- Resistance to pests and herbicides.