FOREST LAYERS: Mimicking Nature

Mimicking nature will achieve the best results when designing landscapes.  So we look to the way forests naturally grow when planting an understory hedgerow.  This approach creates density for privacy through habitat diversity without looking like a wall between neighbors and/or functional spaces.

Forest LayersThe main layers of a forest are:

  1. Overstory
  2. Midstory
  3. Woody Understory
  4. Herbaceous Understory
  5. Groundcover Layer



Suggestions for plantings under Redwoods:


Holly-leafed Cherry (Prunus illicifolia)

Toyon (Heteremeles arbutifolia)

Tassel Tree (Garrya elliptica)

Woody Understory

Italian Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) non-native

Coffeeberry (Frangula californica)

Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)

Bush Anemone (Carpenteria californica)

California Barberry (Mahonia pinnata)

California Pitcher Plant (Lepechinia calycina)

False Box (Paxistima myrsinites)

Herbaceous Understory

Fuchsia-flowering Gooseberry (Ribes speciosum)

Giant Wild Rye (Elymus condensatus)

Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax)

Salal (Gaultheria shallon)

Swordfern (Polystichum munitum)

Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) non-native

Groundcover & Root Layer

Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)

Island Alum Root (Heuchera maxima)

Coyote Mint (Monardella villosa)

Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana)

Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)

Wood Strawberry (Fragaria californica)

Yerba Buena (Satureja douglasii)