In-channel Felling

Felling of snags and trees into stream channel to provide additional woody debris for trapping sediment.

Purpose: This ESR channel treatment is designed to replace woody material in drainage bottoms that have been consumed by wildfire. It is intended to trap organic debris and temporarily detain or slow down storm runoff. Woody material felled into channels will ultimately alter channel gradient, and may cause sediment deposition and channel aggradation.

Relative Effectiveness: Not enough interviewees rated this treatment. It is difficult to assess the relative effectiveness of this treatment because no monitoring information was available and few visual observations have been made. Log jams created by felling trees into channels have the potential to detain sediment, but there is little credible confirmation of this potential.

Implementation and Environmental Factors: Good pre-planning, supervision, and a high level of crew experience are crucial to successful implementation of this treatment. Skilled tree fellers and chainsaw crews are vital to implementation of this treatment. Crews need to be able to judge correct log spacing, position-ing, and adequate contact with the streambed. This treatment can be implemented only where there is a good supply of dead trees near the channels. Also, care must be taken not to use large trees because they do not work as well as smaller ones. Snags can be felled parallel to channels to support channel banks or in v-shaped or other patterns to retain woody debris above road culverts.