Live Stakes and Whips
Stakes are dormant live woody cuttings of a species with the branches trimmed off. Live staking performs an important function, creating a root mat that stabilizes the soil by reinforcing and binding soil particles together. Stake establishment also improves aesthetics and provides a habitat for wildlife. Live stakes can be used on their own to secure other bioengineering materials or as an anchor for erosion control and geo-fabrics. Stakes or poles can also be inserted or driven through openings in rock structures, such as gabions, riprap, and other retaining structures.
Installation Notes: Install stakes during their dormancy (late fall to early spring). Do not allow them to dry out. Soaking before planting significantly increases the survival and growth rate. Drive a pilot hole in firm soil, planting at right angles (buds oriented up) with at least two-thirds of its length underground. Plant stakes randomly or on triangular spacing at 3’-6’ apart. Tamp the soil around the cuttings, water in, and cover with mulch to help retain moisture.
Live Stake Sizes: 3/8“-1-1/2“ diameter; 2’-4’ lengths
Whips are slender, live woody shrub material. Whips are well suited for very moist areas at the edges of streams, commonly used in conjunction with gabion structures, riprap, and geo-fabrics.
Installation Notes: Push whips into the ground as far as they will go without breaking. At least two-thirds of the whip should be covered with soil. They can be installed either by laying on an angle or erect in the soil. When using whips with hard structures, be sure they are long enough to reach into the soil behind or below the structure. (Example: If installing whips through riprap, take into account the 3’ riprap depth; therefore, install a 6’ whip at least 2’ into the soil behind the stone and 1’ above the riprap surface).
Live Whip Sizes: 3/8”-1” diameter; 4’-6’ lengths