Live Stakes are a desire of any new homeowner or anyone who just wants a tree in their landscape that will mature quickly. Many of the larger shade trees are moderate growers and take many years to reach maturity. However, there are some trees that don’t take quite as long. These are considered to grow at a rate of 3 feet or more per year and will reach maturity quicker than some other trees. Popular ones to consider in this category are Maples, some Oak Trees and Poplars, some of which can grow up to 7 feet or more per year under certain conditions.
Tips for those who wish to plant live stakes:
• Dogwood and willows make good stakes. • Diameters should be from ½” to 1 ½.” • Length should be from two to four feet. • Wait for parent plants to be dormant before collecting branches. • Cut the branch at an angle at the end closest to the plant’s trunk. This end goes into the ground with ¼ of the stake above ground and ¾ of the stake planted deep. • After a cut is made, remove any side branches or leaves. These whips can also be planted deep and closer to the water source. • Push or use a rubber mallet to gently drive the stakes into the ground at a 90° angle. • Plant stakes one to three feet apart. • Be patient. It may take a year or more for signs of growth to appear.
Live stakes are best planted in late autumn, winter or early spring
Live stakes need planted in the dormancy season, when the sap is gone to the roots and this makes it safe to harvest cuttings and dig any type of bare root plants, trees or shrubbery. Most tip ends requires an ample moisture table and they do exceedingly well in aquatic zones.
Plant within 24 hours of cutting. Soak in a bucket of water overnight. To increase the growth rate during the initial growing season, it may be helpful to water stakes once a week. If the soil is bare of vegetation, it may be essential to the survival of the stakes to cover the surrounding topsoil with mulch to preserve the moisture content of the ground.
Live stakes can be planted in many locations and applications including flood plains, stream banks, and shores of lakes, road slopes and even storm water detention ponds. These can be used in wetlands. They can help to stabilize the soil in these areas. One will want to plant these usually between the middle of October and middle of March, the earlier in this time frame the better. Make sure your live stakes are healthy and appropriate for your site area. Do not store these longer than 2 weeks and make sure one keep them shaded and moist. When planting them, one will want to make sure they sink them at least ½ of their length in the dirt. The deeper one plant these, the better as they will need some buds at the top to be exposed. One will need to monitor these through the hot summer drought months. Consider some irrigation within the first or first 2 years. Speaking to your garden center will allow one to see what can be purchased in your area. They are usually glad to help one select what works best for your needs and growing area.
If planting is not going to happen right away, wrap them in burlap for longer life. Make sure not to store them any longer than 2 weeks. If one stores them any longer than this, it could cause them to have a lower success rate. The cottonwood and black willow are popular to the Pacific Northwest. They are hardy in this area and will root fairly easily and quickly. Plant in early spring or late fall for best growth./p>