New from Extension: Can woody debris help black huckleberries thrive?

Black huckleberry shrub
A berry-producing black huckleberry shrub growing in a forested environment in northern Idaho.

Each month, scientists at Washington State University publish guides that support agriculture and natural resources.

The latest free guide from WSU Extension examines the role that fallen woody debris, such as downed trees, can play in providing habitat for an iconic Northwest berry shrub. 

Down Woody Debris Microsites for Growing Black Huckleberry Shrubs (TB98E)

Ecologically, economically, and culturally important in the Pacific and Inland Northwest, black huckleberry requires very specific habitat conditions to successfully establish, grow, and produce berries. Authors Margaret Magee, master’s student in the School of the Environment, and Associate Professor Mark Swanson studied how debris microsites can create conditions that black huckleberry need to survive. Debris can be used to facilitate favorable black huckleberry growing conditions in the absence of some of their typical habitat requirements.

Find more new and revised guides from 2024 at Extension Publications’ Online Bookstore Updates website.

Magee and Swanson at fallen log.
Swanson and Magee examine conifer seedling survival at a debris experiment at WSU’s E.H. Steffen Center.