News & Stories

Native Plant Propagation Program

During the month of November, we began our “Nursery School” workshop series! At the Coast Salish Plant Nursery, our goal is to educate the public on the importance of native species; while also increasing the number of native species on-site, benefiting birds and wildlife, and other restoration and repair objectives.

During the first week, we had some exciting work at leləm̀ located at UBC on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam land.

The land is soon to be developed for a housing development and there were many native plants on the land. The Coast Salish Plant Nursery was reached out to, to ask if the Nursery could salvage as many native plants as possible.

Over a period of two days we had a great team of staff and volunteers that worked together to gather as many cuttings and small plants as possible. Plants like sword ferns, salmonberry, hardhack, and trailing blackberry were collected, but there were still so many more plants to gather!

Photos: (1) Nursery Staff Member Sam discussing the steps to removing plants to volunteers. (2) The dense area of native plants at leləm̀. (3) Volunteer member Keith is digging up a good-sized vine maple.

On November 13th we had a volunteer work party at leləm̀ to do the final gathering. With the help of volunteers and staff, we collected more cuttings, ferns, and small shrubs. The truck was full and we brought the plants back to the nursery to be potted and propagated.

The next step of this workshop series was opening the propagation program. After obtaining the different cuttings and plants from leləm̀, we invited new and recurring volunteers to join the Propagation Volunteer Program to become trained by our knowledgeable nursery staff on how to propagate plants.

In the program we:

  • Propagated cuttings from shrubs
  • Educated the public on the importance of native plant species
  • Training attendees on how to propagate

In these weekly workshops, Sam, our Nursery Horticulturist led volunteers through the steps and techniques of propagation. He also discussed the benefits of native plants, what restoration methods we’ve been doing on-site, and which propagation methods need to be used. The cuttings of salmonberry, red-osier dogwood, hardhack, and thimbleberry were propagated. We also worked on planting seeds of our most popular and unique native plants on site. These included yarrow, nodding onion, red columbine, camas, and cow parsnip.

Photos (1) Propagated cuttings of Salal done by volunteers. (2) A display of the cuttings be scraped at the bottom so that they can be dipped in the rooting hormone. (3) Trays of yarrow seeds completed by volunteers.

After the first frost in late December, we have put the propagation program on hold until the spring, when the ground warms back up. We look forward to starting up the program again and seeing how the seeds and cuttings look later in the year. If you’re interested stay tuned and we will be posting about upcoming workshops!

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