Students from Deer Park Academy joined us today to make stakes… Willow and Douglas Spirea stakes that is, no BBQ needed.
Native Willow and Douglas Spirea are pretty unique plants in that they root really easily. If we cut off a branch, cut it into a 1 1/2 foot long stake and mallet it into the ground a new plant will grow! This is a stream restoration technique called bioengineering, specifically called live staking or pole cuttings. The stakes will root very fast in the springtime and create an extensive network of roots that will stabilize the stream bank.
Luckily we have been working at Willow Creek for a few years now and have some well established Spirea and Willow for our source plant!
Using a system of live stakes or poles can create a root mat that stabilizes the soil by reinforcing and binding soil particles together. Stake establishment can improve esthetics and provide wildlife habitat. As a temporary measure, live staking performs an important function of stabilizing and modifying the soil, serving as a pioneer species until other plants become established.