Shoreline Care: native vegetation to plant on the shoreline

Shorelines are unique ecosystems that have developed over thousands of years. Healthy shorelines sustain fish, wildlife, and vegetation around the lakes. They are critical to healthy drinking water, and important for our recreation experiences and businesses where we work. Planting native vegetation can improve water quality by filtering out contaminants and sediments from entering lake water, minimizing erosion and bank instability by holding soil in its place, and providing habitat, protection and food to fish and wildlife.



Below is a list of native vegetation that you can plant to enhance or restore a shoreline for these reasons. These plants are categorized according to the type of shoreline that they are best suited to (dry, wet/dry, wet). Consult the Living by Water website for more information, or contact a Qualified Environmental Professional if you need more guidance.

For a list of plant nurseries that sell native vegetation, follow this link.


Shoreline type Common Name Latin name Category Characteristics
dry Interior Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca tree up to 35 m. tall, evergreen, fire resistant
dry Chokecherry Prunus virginiana shrub 1-4 m. tall, white flowers, fruit
dry Common juniper Juniperus communis shrub > 1 m. tall, blue fruits
dry Kinnikinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi shrub >0.2 m. tall, pink flowers, red berries
dry Mock orange Philadelphus lewisii shrub 1-3 m. tall, white flowers
dry Ocean spray Holodiscus discolor shrub 1-4 m. tall, white flowers
dry Rocky mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum shrub 1-10 m. tall, blue fruits
dry Saskatoon Amelanchier alnifolia shrub 1-5 m. tall, white flowers, blue berries (edible)
dry Smooth sumac Rhus glabra shrub 1-3 m. tall, fall colour
dry Snowbrush Ceanothus velutinus shrub 0.5-2 m. tall, flowers, deer browse
dry Pinegrass Calamagrostis rubescens grass 0.5-1 M. tall, carpet-forming
dry/wet Trembling aspen Populus tremuloides tree up to 30 m. tall, fast growing, fall colour
dry/wet Baldhip rose Rosa gymnocarpa shrub 0.5-1.5 m. tall, pink flowers, thorns, rose hip berries
dry/wet Beaked hazelnut Corylus cornuta shrub 1-4 m. tall, nuts
dry/wet Birch-leaved spirea Spiraea betulifolia shrub 25-60 cm. tall, white flowers
dry/wet Black hawthorn Crataegus douglasii shrub 1-8 m. tall, flowers, berries, thorns
dry/wet Common snowberry Symphoricarpos albus shrub 0.5-1.5 m. tall, white berries
dry/wet Douglas maple Acer glabrum shrub 1-7 m. tall, fall colour
dry/wet Nootka rose Rosa nutkana shrub 0.5-3 m. tall, pink flowers, thorns, rose hip berries
dry/wet Prickly rose Rosa acicularis shrub 0.5-1.5 m. tall, pink flowers, thorns, rose hip berries
dry/wet Red raspberry Rubus idaeus shrub 0.5-1.5 m. tall, flowers, red berries (edible)
dry/wet Sitka alder Alnus crispa shrub 1-5 m. tall, fast growing
dry/wet Soopalallie Shepherdia canadensis shrub 1-2 m. tall, red berries
dry/wet Tall Oregon-grape Mahonia aquifolium shrub 0.2-1 m. tall, yellow flowers, blue berries (not edible)
dry/wet Western mountain-ash Sorbus scopulina shrub 1-5 m. tall, red berries
dry/wet Blue wildrye Elymus glaucus grass 0.5-1.5 m. tall, forage
dry/wet Junegrass Koeleria macrantha grass 0.2-0.5 m. tall, forage
wet Black cottonwood Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa tree up to 40 m. tall, fast growing
wet Paper birch Betula papyrifera tree 30-40 m. tall, fast growing, fall colour
wet Water birch Betula occidentalis tree up to 10 m. tall, fall colour
wet Western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla tree up to 35 m. tall, evergreen
wet Western redcedar Thuja plicata tree up to 40 m. tall, evergreen
wet Bebb's willow Salix bebbiana shrub 0.5-5 m. tall, moose browse
wet Black gooseberry Ribes lacustre shrub 0.5-2 m. tall, berries
wet Blue elderberry Sambucus caerulea shrub 2-4 m. tall, white flowers, blue berries
wet Falsebox Pachistima myrsinites shrub > 0.6 m. tall, red flowers, deer browse
wet High-bush cranberry Viburnum edule shrub 0.5-2.5 m. tall white flowers, red berries
wet Mountain alder Alnus incana shrub 2-10 m. tall, fast growing
wet Pacific willow Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra shrub 1-9 m. tall, moose browse
wet Red elderberry Sambucus racemosa shrub 1-5 m. tall, white flowers, red berries
wet Red-osier dogwood Cornus stolonifera shrub 1-4 m. tall, white flowers, berries
wet Sandbar willow Salix interior shrub 1-10 m. tall, floodplains
wet Scrub birch Betula glandulosa shrub 0.3-2 m. tall, fall colour
wet Tea-leaved willow Salix planifolia ssp. planifolia shrub 0.5-4 m. tall, moose browse
wet Thimbleberry Rubus parviflorus shrub 0.5-2 m. tall, flowers, red berries (edible)
wet Western yew Taxus brevifolia shrub 2-15 m. tall, red fruits (not edible)
wet Bluejoint Calamagrostis canadensis grass 0.5-2 m. tall, colonizer
wet Reed canarygrass Phalaris arundinacea grass 0.5-2 m. tall, floodplain

For a printer-friendly version of this list, please click here.

Featured Articles

SLIPP Announcements, Project Updates, and Media Releases

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Media Release: Derelict dock removal program a success, with more work planned in Mara

posted on 7 October 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Derelict, abandoned dock program a success - more to be removed in Mara Lake this fall Twenty-six derelict, abandoned docks were removed from the Salmon Arm portion of Shuswap Lake and the Sicamous area over...

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Media Release: Shuswap Water Quality Summary Report available

posted on 16 August 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Shuswap water quality summary report available An easy-to-read summary of the water quality monitoring program and the 2011-12 water quality results is now available on the SLIPP website ( The purpose of the summary is...

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2011-12 Water Quality Synopsis

Click photo to view the PDF The Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) has just released the 2011-12 SLIPP Water Quality Report Synopsis! This is an interesting, relevant, easy-to-read document suitable for all audiences. It summarizes the thorough and technical 236-page...

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Recreation Management Plan: Backgrounder

A pamphlet that explains why a Recreation Management Plan is being drafted for the Shuswap, what steps have led to its creation, and what the concerns are among recreationists in the Shuswap. The pamphlet also provides a snapshot of the...

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Media Release: Monitoring results show water quality is good - but care is needed

posted on July 25 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monitoring results show water quality is good in the Shuswap - but care is needed Water quality is good at most locations in and around Shuswap and Mara Lakes according to the 2011-2012 results of...

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2011 Water Quality Report

The first comprehensive water quality report, The 2011 Report on Water Quality for Shuswap, Little Shuswap and Mara Lakes was released in July 2013. This document thoroughly reports on the findings of the first year of the SLIPP water quality program,...

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Upcoming Steering Committee Meeting

There will be a meeting of the SLIPP Steering
Committee members on Wednesday, December 
4 at the Sorrento Memorial Hall, 1 - 5 PM.

Members of the general public may attend as

2011 Water Quality Summary

NEW! An interesting and relevant summary
of water quality in the Shuswap has just been
released. Click here to view it!

The Draft RMP is complete

The draft Recreation Management Plan (RMP)
for Shuswap, Little Shuswap, Mara and Adams
Lakes is complete. Please click here for more

View a Backgrounder Pamphlet for the RMP

Report an abandoned dock

NEW! Click here to report an abandoned dock.


Planning a project or doing repairs
near Shuswap shorelines?

Property owners must speak with Front Counter
 and their local government before beginning
a new project or undertaking repairs. Certain
kinds of works require authorization before
proceeding. Staff at Front Counter BC will guide
property owners through the authorization
process. Click here for more information.

SLIPP is on Twitter!

Follow us @SLIPPBC

Check out the Shuswap maps!

Do you want to find out if your waterfront
property is adjacent to important fish habitat?
Consult the Shuswap Watershed Maps to find

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