Best Practices Handbook on Roadside Vegetation Management

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Best Practices Handbook on Roadside Vegetation Management

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Minnesota Technology Transfer/LTAP Program, Center for Transportation Studies




Maintaining roadsides for safety and aesthetics is an important issue for all levels of government throughout Minnesota. Vegetation is one important element of roadside maintenance. This handbook provides guidelines for effective management of roadside vegetation for local agencies, and highlights seven best management practices that were identified through research, surveys, and discussion with industry experts. The seven best management practices for roadside vegetation fall into these seven categories: 1. Develop an integrated roadside vegetation management plan; 2. Develop a public relations plan; 3. Develop a mowing policy and improved procedures; 4. Establish sustainable vegetation; 5. Control noxious weeds; 6. Manage living snow fences; 7. Use integrated construction and maintenance practices; The main conclusion from the handbook is that successful roadside vegetation management depends on an integrated approach. This includes a wide variety of best management practices to address the many issues involved. This integrated approach includes an assessment of the existing conditions and determination of the type of roadside environment desired. Other construction operations, including proper seeding techniques, selection of the correct plant in the right area, selection of salt-tolerant seed species where needed, and erosion control, will greatly affect the roadside condition. Use of integrated construction and maintenance practices is one of the most important best management practices identified in the handbook.


A new version of this handbook was published in July 2008 and is available at

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Johnson, Ann M.. (2000). Best Practices Handbook on Roadside Vegetation Management. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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