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Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 6: February, 1940,   pp. [145]-176

Page 169

Plant Material 
         For Highway 
      R. L. Williams, Landscape Engineer 
          State Highway Commission 
N ATIVE varieties and species 
     of plant materials should be 
used exclusively in h i g h w a y 
planting because the prime ob- 
jective of all roadside improve- 
ment work is to fit the highway 
into its natural surroundings so 
that it blends harmoniously into 
the adjacent landscape. It is 
necessary, therefore, that a study 
be made of varieties growing in 
the various localities and that se- 
lections be made accordingly. hi 
general, predominant species 
growing in the immediate vicin- 
ity which are of a hardy type 
should be used. 
  Wisconsin is blessed with an 
unusual abundance of tree and 
other plant varieties as compared 
to many other states of the 
Union. This is due to a wide 
variance in geographic, geologic, 
and climatic conditions in our 
state. We have mountainous hills, 
rolling prairies, swamps, outwash 
plains, and even desert areas with 
drifting sand dunes. Each of 
these has its individual type of 
flora. Many varieties which 
thrive in the northern counties 
will not grow in the southern 
portions of the state. Lowland 
trees-water birch, larch, and 
many other varieties-will not 
grow on the nearby highlands, 
and Jack Pine thrives on certain 
soils where most other varieties 
cannot exist. 
Purposes of Roadside Plantings 
  Another consideration in se- 
lecting plant material for road- 
side use is the purpose for which 
these m a t e ri al s are intended, 
such purposes including: 
Screen Plantings-to hide objec- 
An ungrazed hard- 
   wood forest in 
southern Wisconsin. 
The type of trees 
one sees in northern 
Wisconsin are illus- 
trated by our cover 
 -Cuts courtesy State 
 Planning Board, Wis- 
 c o n s i n Conservation 
  tionable views from the road. 
  These should be of a dense, 
  compact character. 
Informal Group    Plantings-to 
  replace trees necessarily cut 
  during construction operations 
  and to assimilate the surround- 
  ing landscape. 
Safety Plantings-to warn night 
  drivers of curves or sudden 
  changes of highway alignment. 
Skyline Plantings-to accentuate 
  the natural topography and 
  create a pleasing view of the 
  horizon ahead. 
Erosion  Control Plantings-to 
  stabilize the soil on steeply 
  graded slopes, thereby retard- 
  ing washing and other forms 
  of slope erosion. 
Structural Plantings -  around 
  bridge ends and culvert walls 
  to soften harsh lines and make 
  the structure fit into the natu- 
  ral surroundings. 
Street and Boulevard Plantings 
  -in cities and towns where a 
  formal planting arrangement is 
  usually required. 
Snow Hedge Planting-to create 
  a wind barrier and snow trap 
  to replace the wooden picket 
  fences now in use. 
         List of Plants 
  Following is a list of the plant 
materials which have proved sat- 
isfactory for use in our state: 
  Red and sugar maples 
  Canoe birch 
  Green and white ash 
  White spruce 
  Norway and white pine 
February, 1940 

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