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Evaluation of soil resources for sustained vegetative cover of cut-slopes along I-70 near Straight Creek.
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  • Abstract:
    Revegetation of high elevation decomposed granite cut-slopes often requires repeated applications of soil

    amendments to attain sustained vegetative cover. Plant transects from slopes west of the Eisenhower Tunnel from

    2007 to 2012 showed that cover was generally stable during this period. Soil fertility tests indicated that nutrients are

    generally low but still comparable to disturbed-but-revegetated reference plots. Soil organic matter and slow-release

    forms of nitrogen (N) may be a potential limiting factor. The N release rates of several common CDOT soil

    amendments were evaluated in a multi-year, field incubation experiment. Test results indicate a wide range of N

    release availability from nearly immediate to fairly slow release rates. Of the slow-release materials, about 74 % of

    total N content was released the first growing season, another 7 % in the following two years, while about 19 % was

    still retained in a more stable organic matter form at the end of the experiment. The study suggests that after several

    applications of slow-release amendments, vegetative cover on these cut-slopes is stabilizing.

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