California Department of Transportation

Brush Layering

Brush Layerng

What is This Treatment?

Brush layering work includes harvesting green cuttings from existing alder, cottonwood or willow stands and embedding these cuttings in horizontal layers perpendicular to the slope face.

Brush Layering Training Video

When to Use This Treatment?

Brush Layering

Note: This typical section is schematic only and can not be used in a contract document. The scale, key dimensions, and critical details have purposely been omitted.


Consider Using With:


  • Provides immediate surface slope reinforcement from unrooted brush cuttings. As roots develop, slope stability and shear resistance improve.
  • Creates slope breaks that shorten slope length and reduce runoff velocities.
  • Creates vegetative filters that trap sediment.
  • Promotes vegetation establishment, cover, and natural sucession.


  • Requires accessible, local stand of cottonwoods or willows from which to harvest cuttings.
  • Harvesting of cuttings may require a permit and establishing a project construction window.
  • Not recommended for rocky slopes, slopes with extremely low soil moisture through the dry season, or slopes with limited equipment access.
  • May require supplemental irrigation during establishment period, particularly during first dry season and on south-facing slopes.



Estimate Information:


  • Caltrans Erosion Control New Technology Report, Brush Layering, June 2003

External Links:

Updated 04-30-2013