Using Salix plants to protect stream banks

Stream banks can be protected by planting them with Salix (Salix babylonica); this is a traditional practice that has been used for streams that flow through agricultural lands.

The erosion of stream banks is a natural geomorphic process, but when the streams flow through agricultural land there is a danger that they can overrun their banks and damage crops or erode land used for cultivation. The degree of erosion can be reduced by using structural measures such as lining the banks with concrete or large boulders or by planting trees along the edges. The Salix plant (Salix babylonica) has been found to be particularly useful for preventing erosion because its roots extend deep into the soil and help to anchor the bank. Following age-old tradition, land users in Bhaktapur district have planted Salix along the Bramayaeni khola (stream). It is a low-cost technology that is simple to implement.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP 29

Location: Bhaktapur Municipality-2, Nantukucha, Bhaktapur District, Nepal

Technology area: 0.026 km2

Conservation measure(s): Vegetative

Land Use: Annual cropping, irrigated land

Stage of intervention: Prevention of land degradation

Origin: Traditional

Climate: Sub humid/temperate

Related approach: Not described

Other related technology: Landslip and stream bank stabilization (QT NEP 11)

Compiled by: Indira Mulepati, Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management (DSCWM), Kathmandu

Date: April 2011, updated March 2013

Bhaktapur Municipality-2, Nantukucha, Bhaktapur District, Nepal