Wells & Pipelines Planting Guide

Many progressive utility companies and oil and gas operators recognize a unique opportunity to go a step beyond basic reclamation standards and adopt a deeper commitment to informed, proactive and responsible reclamation practices. This new way of thinking promotes the use of native species indigenous to the area being restored. It’s an opportunity to affirm the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

SEEDING METHOD

Due to the wide range of areas impacted by these projects, any seeding method may be used. Once the seed has been planted, drag with a light harrow, cultipacker or track it in 1/4”-1/2” deep to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Mulching with straw, hydromulch or straw/coconut fiber mats is recommended to protect the seed from drying out or washing away. Follow erosion control best management practices that fit the situation. With adequate temperature and moisture, the seed should start to germinate within about three weeks.

AN OVERVIEW

In the years after disturbance, affected areas can become biodiverse ecosystems with improved ecological function, greater wildlife populations, less erosion and improved water and soil quality.

A multiple-mile stretch of pipeline in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, for instance, might pass through wetlands, over steep mountain slopes, across rivers and through agricultural areas and state game lands. These areas should be reclaimed with vegetation that best matches the intended use of the land, the biodiversity that existed before disturbance and with practices that best address issues, such as erosion control, habitat fragmentation and other environmental concerns.

We can design a biodiverse native seed mix to restore your environmental impact and help ensure regulatory compliance. We routinely work with environmental departments, consulting engineers and contractors seeding a project.

SITE PREPARATION

Overall site conditions and restored areas may consist of rock fill, little to no topsoil or heavily compacted areas. These sites generally tend to be low in fertility and can be beneficially affected by adding a layer of topsoil or organic matter (compost). Check the soil pH and add the correct amount of lime as recommended by soil analysis. Once the site is regraded, eradicate any invasive vegetation that may have re-established on the site, as it is easier to control unwanted weed infestations before the seeding is complete. Perennial weeds not addressed before establishment will be difficult to remove later.

GROWING SEASON MAINTENANCE

First Growing Season

  • Due to the varying terrains that these projects cover, assess the site and use the appropriate maintenance schedule. Mowing to a height of 4”-6” or spot spraying competitive invasive weeds should follow seeding.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this review of practices is the result of more than 50 years of experience in seed production. Ernst Conservation Seeds has been supplying seeds and consulting in the reseeding of tens of thousands of acres of roadsides, surfacemined lands, conservation and restoration sites in eastern North America, as well as growing and supplying seed and consulting in the planting of hundreds of thousands of acres of CRP/CREP-related areas for erosion control and wildlife habitat. All of these practices are opinion only and our best advice as a result of these experiences. These recommendations do not cover all of the conditions that will be encountered in the field. All of the information is for individual consideration. Ernst Conservation Seeds is not responsible for conditions that will be encountered in individual situations. The use of brand names does not represent our endorsement of a specific product; rather, it represents our experience only and has not necessarily been replicated in peer-reviewed research. The use of chemical pest control agents is subject to manufacturers’ instructions and labeling, as well as federal, state and local regulations.

Wells & Pipelines Seed Mixes

The following are seed mixes well-suited for these types of projects. Right-of-way and pipeline projects may require crossing streams or impacting wetlands. Ernst can also provide you with live stakes, live whips, brush mattresses, wattles/fascines and branch layering materials.

Non-Native Ernst Best Strip Mine & Gas Production Mix

Item #: ERNMX-101 Cost: $2.71/lb
Categories:
Description: Designed for the toughest disturbed sites; tolerates low pH. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

Pipeline Mix w/Switchgrass

Item #: ERNMX-102-1 Cost: $2.94/lb
Categories:
Description: Designed for areas where wildlife cover is desired without frequent mowing. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix willl not. ()

Quick Erosion Control Cover Mix

Item #: ERNMX-104 Cost: $1.35/lb
Categories:
Description: Designed to achieve that quick, green color and fast erosion control with strong, fibrous roots. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

Mesic to Dry Native Pollinator Mix

Item #: ERNMX-105 Cost: $25.77/lb
Categories: ,
Description: The native wildflowers and grasses in this mix provide an attractive display of color from spring to fall. Designed for mesic to upland sites and full sun to lightly shaded areas. This mix will attract a variety of pollinators and songbirds. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice ()

Ernst Native Biomass Mix for Strip Mines & Gas Production Sites

Item #: ERNMX-110 Cost: $9.44/lb
Categories:
Description: A biodiverse mix of warm and cool season grasses with forbs for maximum, sustainable biomass production. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will ()

Ernst Native Habitat for Strip Mines Mix

Item #: ERNMX-111 Cost: $11.62/lb
Categories:
Description: A permanent meadow mix for wildlife cover and pollinator habitat on disturbed sites. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

FACW Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-122 Cost: $50.91/lb
Categories:
Description: The diverse species provide pollinator habitat and erosion control in wet meadows. Excellent for facultative wetland mitigation sites. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding ()

Conservation Shade Mix

Item #: ERNMX-129 Cost: $2.03/lb
Categories:
Description: While designed for deep-shaded areas, this mix requires at least 2 hours of sunlight daily. The fescues and bluegrasses are shade tolerant and blend very well together. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula ()

Keystone Deer & Turkey Habitat Mix

Item #: ERNMX-133 Cost: $3.33/lb
Categories:
Description: These popular wildlife food plot, non-native grasses and legumes attract deer and turkey year-round. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will ()

Keystone Big Buck Mix

Item #: ERNMX-133-1 Cost: $3.63/lb
Categories:
Description: The non-native legumes and forbs attract deer year-round. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

Showy Northeast Native Wildflower & Grass Mix

Item #: ERNMX-153 Cost: $35.10/lb
Categories: ,
Description: The native wildflowers and some grasses provide a gorgeous display of color from spring to fall. Designed for upland sites with well-drained soils and full sun to semi-shaded areas; ideal for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on ()

Native Steep Slope Mix w/Annual Ryegrass

Item #: ERNMX-181 Cost: $14.11/lb
Categories:
Description: The native grass and forb species tolerate poor soils typically found on steep slopes in the eastern United States. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of ()

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