Teaching NPSalvages

Advanced NPSalvage techniques offered in specialized workshops!

Notes from Andy Hopwood, NPSF board member and nursery co-chair. Edited by S. Elie

Things are happening at the Native Plant Salvage nursery: Preparations are well under way for our advanced salvaging class this Saturday, March 16th.

The cold grip seems to be letting go and our weather is opening to the ocean moisture and temperature moderation. With this change comes the urgency to finish salvaging evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) and red huckleberry (V. parvifolium) from our current salvage site. The cohort can expect to level large evergreen and red huckleberry bushes for stem and root cuttings.

If we are successful, we will pot the starts up this fall! The potting mix for our cuttings is a 1:1 peat/perlite mix inoculated with a mycorrhizal blend. We like to limit our use of peat because of our concerns over depletion and its value in carbon sequestration. In the case of our huckleberries, we need an acidic starter mix. The product recommends using peat on lawns...we recommend that you don’t!

The stem and root cuttings will be treated with root-growth hormone and started in seed-start containers for vertical cuttings and flats for horizontal root and stem cuttings. They will be frost protected until that threat is over and misted through the summer.


Not a lot of information is out there regarding the propagation of V. ovatum and V. parvifolium and some of the available information is contradictory; we are putting out effort into refining known salvage techniques in a way that returns the most material back.

The red huckleberry will be especially challenging. I mentioned frost protection and misting. Both of these care techniques require shelter, and work continues on our small greenhouse! We salvaged an old car shelter frame and are wrapping it to get our starts through to rooting. The greenhouse will also help us with our spring and fall seed starts and is vital when using cold stratification starting.

Following cohorts will move on to low Oregon grape (Mahonia nervosa) and tall Oregon grape (M. aquifolium) cuttings, plus propagation from rhizomes of Oregon grape and salal (Gaultheria shallon) and finish the season with our emerging perennials.

We look forward to having you join us!