Nursery supports the restoration cause

Peter Moore
April 2020

Getting plants in the ground and seeing them thrive – this is a rewarding part of being a restoration ecologist at the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE).

Each year, IAE plants thousands of native plants at restoration sites throughout Oregon and New Mexico. For example, see the December blog How does IAE get all of those plants in the ground?

We couldn’t do this work without our many partnering native plant nurseries, including Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Heritage Seedlings, Inc., Portland Metro’s Native Plant Center, Kenagy Family Farms, and Pacific NW Natives, among others. Of course, we can’t forget the Willamette Valley Native Plant Materials Partnership, the Sagebrush in Prisons Program, and IAE’s own production field at the OSU Hort Farm. And from IAE's Southwest Office, we partner with the Pueblo of Santa Ana Native Plant Nursery, New Mexico State Penitentiary Nature in Prisons,  the JT Harrington Forest Research Station, Sandia High School, Plants of the Southwest, and the Southwest Seed Partnership.

For this article, I am highlighting one of these partnering nurseries, Sevenoaks Native Nursery. This wholesale nursery, located near Corvallis and owned by Mike Ridling and Scott Anderson, has been a stalwart supporter of IAE’s restoration projects over the years. They have supplied countless native prairie forbs, grasses, rushes, sedges, trees and shrubs that are now thriving in many sites across the landscape.

Sevenoaks Native Nursery sign (Photo: Sevenoaks).

Plant production beds (Photo: Sevenoaks).

Sevenoaks grows over 400 native plant species in bareroot or containerized form (Photo: Sevenoaks).

One example of the amazing impact Sevenoaks has on our restoration projects was an order of over 44,000 trees and shrubs they provided for a 28-acre riparian area at Herbert Farm and Natural Area, a City of Corvallis property. Another IAE partner, R. Franco Restoration, planted these small bareroot plants in the winter five years ago, and today, the plants have filled in to create a thriving riparian zone, with the tallest cottonwoods standing more than six meters tall!

Contractors from R. Franco Restoration planting trees and shrubs at Herbert Farm and Natural Area in 2015.

Riparian plantings at Herbert Farm in 2019.

Brodiaea bulbs grown by Sevenoaks Native Nursery (Photo: Sevenoaks).

Not only does IAE purchase plants from Sevenoaks, but the nursery has very generously donated plants to support restoration and natural habitats in our area as well. In November of last year, Sevenoaks donated over 1500 surplus bulbs, including ookow (Dichelostemma congesta), hyacinth brodiaea (Tritelieia hyacinthina) and harvest brodiaea (Brodiaea elegans), and these were installed by IAE staff and AmeriCorps volunteers at a restoration prairie at Herbert Farm.

Rolando Beorchia, IAE habitat restoration technician, explaining planting technique to volunteers.

Hailey Hart of AmeriCorps NCCC Team Blue 5 planting bulbs at Herbert Farm in late 2019.

Bristol Underwood and Ed Cope planting bulbs at Herbert Farm.

In February 2020, Sevenoaks Nursery followed up with another donation, this time of 1500 Oregon geranium (Geranium oreganum) and 1500 rose checkermallow (Sidalcea malviflora ssp. virgata) plants. This gave us the opportunity to hold a volunteer planting event at Herbert Farm.

We are very grateful to Sevenoaks Native Nursery, as well as to our other great nursery partners, for all their support of IAE’s restoration projects. Keep growing those amazing plants!

Author Peter Moore, IAE Restoration Ecologist, at Herbert Farm and Natural Area.

Rose checkermallow (Sidalcea malviflora ssp. virgata) growing at Herbert Farm.