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9 November 2023 Survival and Growth of Wetland Species as Live Stakes with Lessons for Effective Management Practices
Rose C. Wetzel, Adrienne R. Hobbins, Matthew J. Wilson
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Live stakes are woody cuttings from wetland tree and shrub species that can root in moist soil. The use of live stakes in riparian and wetland restoration is becoming an increasingly popular technique because of relatively low costs and maintenance. However, the success of live stakes likely depends on the species, environmental conditions, and planting treatments. In particular, the benefit of artificial rooting hormone or weed control strategies have not been widely studied, particularly for eastern North American species. We performed a common garden experiment with 1800 live stakes of eight species commonly used in restoration, where stakes were randomly blocked by species and treatments, including herbicide application to control invasive plants and rooting hormone to encourage growth. We examined how the use of herbicide and rooting hormone, species, stake diameter, and planting depth of stakes affected live stake survival and growth. We found survival, growth, and response to treatments were species-dependent, and that buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), and silky dogwood (Cornus obliqua) were the species with the greatest survival one year post-planting. The only species that benefited from treatments were red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) and buttonbush, which had the best survival with rooting hormone, and silky dogwood, which had the best survival with both treatments. In addition, buttonbush showed significant clustering of surviving stakes, possibly indicating buttonbush might be most sensitive to differences in microhabitat conditions. Lastly, we provide an analysis to help conservation professionals gain insight into live stake survival, species selection, and best management practices.

Rose C. Wetzel, Adrienne R. Hobbins, and Matthew J. Wilson "Survival and Growth of Wetland Species as Live Stakes with Lessons for Effective Management Practices," Natural Areas Journal 43(4), 253-260, (9 November 2023).
Published: 9 November 2023
Best Management Practices
live stakes
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