Wetland Planting List

Wetland Planting List

Salmonberry - Photo Credit: Cindy Martin

Salmonberry - Photo Credit: Cindy Martin

Do you have a wet area in your yard?  These areas are called wetlands and provide places for many different kinds of wildlife to find food, water, nesting areas, and places to hide. Wetlands also soak in stormwater to filter and release it slowly, reducing flooding and pollution that makes it into the Puget Sound.

What can you do in your wetland area?  The easiest thing to do in your wetland is to plant it with native trees and shrubs.

Planting Guide

Below is a quick planting guide that if followed would cover 9000 square feet (30’x30’) of wetland area. 


Plant these on the outer edges of the wet area where it is slightly drier. These require at least 10 feet between each tree. To cover 9000 square feet with trees, plant 30 of any combination of tree species listed below.

• Sitka Spruce • Shore Pine • Western Red Cedar • Hooker Willow
• Scouler’s Willow • Paper Birch • Oregon Ash • Cascara


Plant these everywhere but permanently standing water. Shrubs usually grow in clumps of 3 to 5 of a single species and require at least 4 feet of space between each other.  You can intermix them in between trees. To cover 9000 square feet, plant up to 100 of any combination of shrub species listed below. 

• Black Twinberry • Pacific Ninebark • Douglas Spirea • Nootka Rose • Oceanspray
• Pacific Crabapple • Red Osier Dogwood • Salmonberry • Vine Maple (near the upper edges)


You can add emergent plants to any wetland. Plant emergents in damp areas that pond for most of the year.  Like shrubs they are usually found in clumps and can be planted as close as 1 to 2 feet apart. Intersperse the following emergent plants within your shrubs and trees to provide additional habitat for amphibians and other small mammals.

• Slough Sedge • Lyngby’s Sedge • Sitka Sedge • Common Spikerush
• Soft Rush • Piggyback Plant (Youth on Age)

Better Ground is brought to you by the Snohomish Conservation District.

528 91st Ave NE Lake Stevens, WA | 425-335-5634, ext 4 | www.betterground.org
Sound Nature Idea #05