How can I stabilize and plant my steep hillside?
The best strategy is to use a mosaic of plants that root at different depths, to encourage a dense web of roots to hold up your hill. A variety of native plants are suitable for this purpose, but choose carefully to be sure that you don't plant lots of flammable species right next to your house! Also be careful with irrigation! Too much can undo all your efforts. Until the plants get established, it is often a good idea to install jute netting (available at local hardware stores in 50-100 foot rolls). Be sure to secure the netting well, at least every 2-3 feet with either soil staples or soil nails. For extra steep slopes, erosion control blankets might work better. There are a number of varieties that are made of coconut fibers that decompose after 5 years. Check out the web or the examples at the RCDSMM library for more details on distributors and costs.
How can I stabilize trees on my slope whose roots are exposed and eroded?
The best way to stabilize the tree will depend on the particular site characteristics, but some ideas to consider include: cabling the tree to an upslope area, installing either jute netting or an erosion control blanket to prevent further erosion, installing railroad ties, rock wall or other structure underneath the roots to stabilize them. For more information, contact local landscape contractors.
What can I do if my streambank is collapsing?
Any work on the bank or within a creek needs a permit from the CA Department of Fish and Game. There are a variety of solutions, from simple rock placement to more elaborate gabion walls that can be used to stabilize your banks. Whatever you do, remember that by armoring your bank, you may be changing the flow dynamics downstream. Think carefully and check both upstream and down to see how your solution might fit into the creek. For more details, stop by the RCDSMM library.