QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED OF HARP  – ANSWERS HARP CAN PROVIDE

What does BMP mean?

BMP stands for Best Management Practice, and refers to the best way to control storm water runoff from a site. There are several types of BMPs ranging from swales to rain gardens to wet ponds. HARP designs and plants all of the various BMPs. Call us!

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a storm water BMP that collects and filters storm water runoff and discharges the water in a cleaner state into the ground or into a nearby stream. Plants in the rain garden absorb organic and inorganic contents from the runoff, helping to clean the water as it filters through the sandy soil.

My rain garden(s) hold water for weeks after a heavy rain. Do I have a problem?

Yes - Rain gardens are designed to drain down after about 24-48 hours. There is often a drain pipe at the base of the soil fill. Typical problems are the soil filtering ability has been negated by the infiltration of clay which stops drainage in the sandy soil. Some or all of the soil may have to be replaced. Or, the drain may be stopped up causing water to back up into the soil. Another problem for slow draining water is the possibility of a pack of leaves (leaf pack) on top of the soil. Possibly the leaves were not removed from the RG.

My BMPs were inspected and did not pass. What do I have to do now?

Determine the reason(s). They should be noted on the inspector’s sheet. Call HARP we are Rain Garden Certified!

I am adjacent to a new development and storm water runoff is impacting a nearby stream and my property also. What do I do?

If you are in the city limits, then call Charlotte Land Development, in the county, Mecklenburg County Land Development. If you need an assessment as to what the problem is or if you have had an evaluation by Land Development and want a solution, Call HARP!

I received an NOV (Notice of Violation). What do I do now?

Tell us what type of violation. Generally an NOV will detail the problem(s). If it involves erosion on newly cleared property or impacts on a neighboring property; a poorly functioning or constructed BMP, Call HARP!

My NOV called for developing a remediation plan. Who does remediation plans?

HARP does, give us a Call!

I want a nice looking group of plants in my BMP. Do I have a choice as to what is planted?

Yes you do. However, the initial planting plan may not have considered aesthetics, only function. There is a relatively wide range of species adapted to the various habitats in BMPs. HARP wrote the book on planting Piedmont BMPs. Give us a call!

I have a BMP that I want to maintain properly, but don’t have the expertise or time. Does HARP do BMP maintenance?

Yes we do. We can develop a cost effective year-round maintenance plan to accomplish your needs. Give us a call!

I need a large area with uplands, wetlands and stream banks planted, using both herbaceous and woody species. Can HARP do this?

Give us a Call! We can; we do it all the time. We can develop a planting plan to suit your needs and desires.

I don’t know if I have a wetland or not. How can I find out?

Wetlands are determined by delineation, using soils, hydrology and vegetation. Call HARP!! We can do the work.

I am thinking about doing some work that may impact a wetland. I don’t know the rules for wetland impacts. Can HARP help?

Yes, we know the rules and we can do the permitting. It can be simple or complicated, depending on the situation and the proposed impact(s). Give us a Call!

I have discussed doing some development on property I own. I may have wetlands, is there anything else that needs to be checked?

Yes, you will need a biological report on the endangered/threatened species that could possibly be present.

What is a 404/401 Water Quality Permit?

Before a project is undertaken that will impact streams or wetlands (before grading) permits have to be obtained from the US Army Corps of Engineers (404) and the NC Division of Water Quality (401). These may be complicated or not, depending on the impact(s) and may require some months to obtain. HARP can help obtain these. We specialize in Interagency Coordination. Give us a Call!

I was told to get a Tree Survey for a property being considered for development. Who does Tree Surveys?

HARP does, give us a call!

I want to know what type(s) of plant communities are on my property and if there are any special species. Can HARP do this?

Yes, we have provided the data for the Natural Heritage Surveys for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston and Lincoln Counties and are very familiar with the Piedmont plant communities. Give us a Call!

Q3. My company is developing a tract of land. We don’t want problems with erosion, etc. How can we stay ahead of the problems before they develop?

You need a certified site inspector who will report potential problems before they become REAL problems and recommend how to fix them. Call HARP! We have a certified inspector.

Yes we do. We can show you some streams we have restored and discuss the overall aspects. We specialize in restoration design, construction and monitoring. Give us a Call!

I have a problem with a lot of invasive plants, such as Kudzu, Japanese Honeysuckle, Chinese Privet and Russian Olive (Elaeagnus). How do I get rid of these species?

Call HARP, we specialize in Invasive Species Management!

What is a live stake?

Live stakes are pieces of dormant woody stems that are planted into stream banks. There are six species of plants that grow in the Piedmont that can be used for live stakes. During the winter, the nodes develop roots and in the spring the food stored in the stems provides the energy for leaf production. The newly developing plants stabilize the soil due to the root growth. HARP installs 10’s of thousands of live stakes each year. If you need help call HARP!

Can roots really grow during the winter?

Yes. The soil temperature remains fairly constant even in the winter. One reason the stakes are at least 18 in. long is to get the nodes below the freeze line.

When can live stakes be planted?

The stems have to be dormant before harvesting or planting. Leaves usually fall about mid-November. Stakes can be harvested at that time and planted up until about March 15, although a late planting may not develop the root support needed to supply water to the leaves. For more, call HARP!

Should herbaceous wetland plants be installed in the fall?

No. Contrary to planting woody plants (which can be installed in the fall), herbaceous species, as plugs or bare root plants, need about 6 weeks to develop new roots. When the water gets cold the roots do not grow as well and often the plants will die (rot). Herbaceous wetland plants should be planted no later than September 1, but since the habitat is a wetland, they can be planted in late spring and all during the summer (assuming the water does not dry up).

What is a plug?

A plug is a seedling or newly rooted plant growing in a container about 2 in. x 5 in. that has a well developed root system and when removed form the container and planted immediately can adapt and grow with limited effects of the transplanting. If you want to know which species will fit best into your system, Call HARP!

How does a bare root plant differ from a plug?

Bare root plants have no soil around the roots. They are dormant or semi-dormant. Bare root trees or shrubs should be planted in the winter to allow time for new root growth. Bare root herbs also need to develop new roots, but usually grow roots faster. Bare root material is usually less expensive that plugs, but the survivorship may be less in bare root material. If you want an analysis of the best species and whether to use plugs or bare root, Call HARP!


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