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Erosion is the process of eroding or stripping away topsoil, plants, and trees by natural elements like storms with wind, surface runoff, and rainwater. To prevent erosion, a variety of plants and trees, preferably native, with varying root depths should be planted; with trees typically having the deepest and strongest roots. Deep rooting trees will help stabilize the soil by penetrating, anchoring, and binding multiple layers of earth while helping reduce water in over-saturated areas. When you select a native tree, it’s adapted to the area’s rainfall, making it a better candidate to thrive in your landscape.

We strongly recommend discussing each tree and its growing characteristics thoroughly with a landscape architect or arborist to ensure tree roots do not pose potential risks to plumbing, power lines, sidewalks, and foundations. They can also recommend deep rooting trees that will complement your current landscape design. To help get you started, we’ve included a few highly recommended trees below with good erosion controlling roots.

The California Buckeye is a good deep rooting, drought tolerant tree. With its attractive multi-trunk and fragrant flowers, this native Central California tree’s growth rate averages 24 inches per year, reaching heights of 10-25 feet tall.

The California Laurel is also a good tree to help pull excess water from the soil. Known for its fragrant leaf and growth rates averaging 12-24 inches per year, it can reach heights of 60-75 feet. It has a moderate root damage rating.

The Cascara Buckthorn, also known as the Bearberry, thrives from the Central Coast of California all the way up to Canada. Classified as a shrub, the small tree can reach 10-30 feet in height.