Suggestions for Managing Oceanspray


In October 2014, Chris Junck (Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team Society) emailed the listserv on behalf of a B.C. landowner with dense Oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) around Garry Oaks. He asked if anybody had suggestions for controlling the Oceanspray in order to plant other native species.

Elaine Stewart (Portland Metro-Natural Areas Program) replied that she had not contemplated controlling Oceanspray as it is a nice native plant and generally doesn’t cause problems. Nonetheless, she mentioned that it could be pruned back to help oaks establish. Thomas Brian Maertens (Bigleaf Biogeography Unlimited) agreed with Elaine Stewart and added that there is not much Oceanspray in yards in B.C. and recommends that neighbors simply maintain it. Several others agreed that Oceanspray is desirable, supporting bird diversity and hemiparasitic plants. Chris Junck clarified that the stand is very dense and crowding out other natives, so the landowner would like to knock it back to improve diversity. David Perasso noted a similar situation with snowberry and recommended mechanical removal or coppicing. Keith Perchemlides (TNC) also had similar experience with buckbrush in Southwestern Oregon, generally due to lack of fire, and recommended radial or mosaic thinning followed by planting of other natives to reduce the threat of ladder fuels. Richard Hebda recommended management by pruning out dead and previously flowering branches as well as plants overshadowing oak seedlings. Dave Hays (WDFW) recommended cutting and spraying the stump with garlon, or cutting and allowing deer to browse. Reba Olsen recommended removal using a weed wrench. Jon Kemp added that the Oceanspray should tend to become thinner as the oaks mature.