How to Create a Riparian Forest Buffer – Maryland Department of Natural Resources
How to Create a Riparian Forest Buffer – Maryland Department of Natural Resources


The first step in creating a Riparian Forest
Buffer is to contact your local county Forester. They will provide technical assistance and
work closely with you to discuss your goals and objectives. Some goals and objectives range from creating
wildlife habitat, improving water quality, forest products, and recreation and aesthetics. The forester will walk your property with
you and discuss appropriate native species for your forest buffer. Along with spacing recommendations, trees
per acre, tree seedling shelters, planting boundaries, site preparation, and future maintenance
needs. Planting native bare-root seedlings are recommended. They can be ordered from the John S. Ayton
State Tree Nursery. Typically, seedlings are placed in rows spaced
8’ between trees and 10’ between rows. This spacing yields about 544 trees per acre. After the planting boundary is defined and
bare-root seedlings are ordered, you will select a contractor to plant the seedlings. A list of potential contractors could be provided. Depending on the site, the bare root seedlings
will be hand planted or machine planted during planting season which is from March 1st to
May 10th Cost-share through the Maryland Forest Service
and partnering agencies may be available to help fund creating your riparian forest buffer. Some programs include the Woodland Incentive
Program, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, or the Environmental Quality Incentives
Program. For more information on cost-share programs
and implementing riparian forest buffers, contact your local Forester, Farm Service
Agency, or Natural Resource Conservation Service.

1 thought on “How to Create a Riparian Forest Buffer – Maryland Department of Natural Resources”

  1. Mark Jones says:

    Good info, but i'd like to ask a question regarding tree layout. Although the grid placement of the seedlings is probably the most efficient and maximizes trees per acre, is there any other way they might planted that dose not result in such un-naturalistic rows? It tends to give a 'plantation' look to woodland, and where this may be useful for any future harvesting, it doesn't look very natural, which in many situations is the hope of the landowner. Once planted, what are the chances of the trees reaching maturity? I assume some failure is expected, and perhaps this would allow are more natural woodland to mature? Or is thinning at a later date warranted? Thank you again for the video!

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