Stakes Alive!

Yes, the live stakes are still alive.
Yes, the live stakes are still alive. (Click for larger image.)

Back in March volunteers with the Countryside Homeowners Association in Henrico County planted some 500 live stakes along severely eroded sections of Westham Creek. We were rubes. We didn’t know what we were doing. Our hope was to establish thickets of Red Osier Dogwood and Black Willow along the waterline that would produce a dense mat of roots to hold the soil in place during major downpours. But for all we knew, we’d end up with 500 dead sticks in the ground.

I went back down to the creek a few days ago to check on progress. The good news is that most (not all) of the two-foot stakes are still alive. They’ve actually sprouted greenery. We didn’t kill them all (only some of them)! Hooray!

The stakes don’t look like they would hold up yet to a good gully washer, but give them time. I’ll check back in two or three months to see how they’re doing.


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One response to “Stakes Alive!”

  1. larryg Avatar

    we’ve done that up here with mixed results. It does not exactly end up a game-changer as the kinds of trees planted are not fast growing and are vulnerable to gully-washers and similar.

    I think you need a faster growing shrub FIRST – to truly stabilize the area first then plant the other stuff that grows slower and is somewhat protected once the faster growing puts in ground cover.

    Some kinds of bamboo type plants can do this.

    I’ll let it up to the experts but I do note two recent developments in the waterways themselves.

    that is Hydrilla and Snakeheads – both are invasive and both are establishing themselves to the dismay of some but time is showing that the Hydrilla helps to cleanse the water and at the same time takes up nutrients, nitrogen and the Snakeheads are now crowding out other fish and while unwelcome are not going to go away either.

    we need to similar approach for damaged streambanks.

    get the bank stabilized – then once that is done – try to establish the slower-grower plants and trees.

    the trees we had planted up here are not growing very fast. years after they have been planted the ones that have survived have not gotten much bigger.

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