Brush Mattresses and Wattles (Fascines)
Brush mattresses are layers of living branches (laid in a crisscross pattern, one to two branches thick) that are placed on a stream bank to form a living ground cover. The mattress that is formed protects the surface of the bank until the branches can root and native vegetation becomes established. This living system normally roots in the entire bank face, encouraging natural infiltration and immediately acting as a sediment trap.
Installation Notes: Place material with the basal ends located toward the bottom of the slope. Using 3’ square spacing, drive dead wedge stakes into the plant material. Stretch wire or biodegradable twine or rope diagonally around the dead stakes, and finish driving the stakes to tighten the wire, twine, or rope and secure the mattress. Finally, place a thin layer of soil over the entire area to encourage rooting.
Brush Mattress Sizes: 3/8”-3” diameter x random length x 2-4 branches thick
Wattles, also known as fascines, are living branches bound together in long, tubular bundles. When placed in shallow trenches across the slope of a bank, these structures provide protection from erosion and create a sediment trap. This material provides immediate bank support even prior to root growth. Once established, this live rooting material grows into a living fence-like erosion barrier. Within one growing season, roots and shoots grow along the entire length of the structure, quickly stabilizing the bank.
Installation Notes: This technique is simple, effective, and can be installed with little site disturbance. Material is placed in 6” wide trenches on banks or slopes parallel to the stream contour and partially covered with soil. Wedge-like dead stakes secure them in place at 2’-3’ intervals. Live stakes can also be used in conjunction with dead stakes to secure the material. Straw mulching the site after installation retains moisture and reduces surface erosion.
Wattle/Fascine Sizes: 6’ or 8’ lengths are recommended for ease of handling; available in 4”-8” diameters or 8”-12” diameters (custom lengths and diameters are available).
Dead Wedge Stakes
Dead wedge stakes are pieces of hardwood cut into long wedges. They are used to secure wattles, brush mattresses, and other applications of soil bioengineering and erosion control measures.
Stake Sizes: 1-1/4” x 3-1/4” x 2-1/2” long