Survival and Growth of Black Willow (Salix nigra), Silky Willow (Salix sericea), Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum), and Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) Live Stakes
Type of Degreethesis
Agronomy and Soils
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Live stakes are a simple and inexpensive bioengineering solution to establishing riparian vegetation. Studies were conducted on the native species black willow (Salix nigra), silky willow (Salix sericea), silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), and Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) to investigate the effect of soaking in water prior to installation, to evaluate biomass differences among species, and to observe differences in survival attributed to season of harvest. The experiment was conducted at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Results suggest that live stakes collected in the dormant season and soaked do not consistently have significantly greater biomass or survival than those installed immediately after collection. Harvesting live stakes during the growing season is not recommended due to high mortality rates when compared with live stakes harvested in the dormant season. Results suggest the four species evaluated are able to survive and establish as live stakes when harvested in the dormant season. A combination of native species is recommended for live stake projects along streams to account for various conditions such as erosion and streambank degradation.