Streamside Landscaping/Planting Zones

Streamside or riparian planting zones have been identified that reflect the availability of soil moisture during the dry summer months and the potential for flooding (Figure 1 and Table 1 below).  Choose a species that is appropriate for the zone you will be planting in.

Stream Plant Zone Art 1

Figure 1.  Riparian Planting Zones*

Table 1. Riparian Planting Zones and Planting Recommendations
Zones Description
Zone 1
includes the stream channel and banks
It is flooded at least part of the time every winter,
and supports largely hydrophytic (water-loving) vegetation.
Soils are often rocky and difficult to plant. Plant flood tolerant species.
Zone 2
Includes the upper banks and floodplain
This may be a very narrow zone in a channelized or confined stream
or a wide zone in an unconfined stream. Moisture usually decreases
from the boundary of Zone 3.  Shrub and weed competition may be
intense. Soils are often sandy and/or rocky and droughty. Both flood
and drought tolerant species may be suitable.
Zone 3
Upper terrace and uplands adjacent to
stream bank.
This zone supports primarily upland vegetation m, although some
Zone 1 and 2 species may be found at the boundary of Zone 2 and
3. Plant drought tolerant species.














*Wayne Crowder and Walt Edelen.  1996.  Riparian Moisture Zones - Planting Locations of Woody and Herbaceous Species. NRCS Plant Materials Center.  Plant Materials 31.  Accessed at:

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