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Live Stakes & Whips

Live stakes and whips are ideal for restoration projects and erosion control. They are dormant cuttings of native woody species. We cut and sell these January through mid-March, and regularly have the species in the adjacent table (call for specific availability).

Customer picking up live stakes
SPECIES COMMON NAME
Callicarpa americana American beautyberry
Cephalanthus occidentalis Button bush
Physocarpus opulifolius Ninebark
Salix caroliniana Carolina willow
Salix nigra Black willow
Salix sericea Silky willow
Sambucus canadensis Elderberry
Swida amomum Silky dogwood
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Coralberry

Live stakes

Live stakes are usually 3/8″ to 1-1/2″ diameter and 1-2 feet long. Stakes are used alone or driven through erosion control fabric to grow roots which will help hold soil in place.

Two foot Mellow Marsh Farm live stakes (various species)

Planting:

Our stakes are cut and stored in tubs of water. Please keep the stakes from drying out prior to planting. Drive the stake perpendicularly into the ground (pointed end down) until the stake is at least two-thirds of the way in the ground. If the ground is compacted or rocky, a pilot hole can be driven first. Place stakes 2 to 6 feet apart and tamp soil around stake to prevent air trapping near the stem.

Whips

Whips are 3 to 5 feet long and ½” or less in diameter at the base. They are the top part of a branch, so they taper off at one end. Whips can be planted alone, or used in wattles and brush mattresses.

Planting:

Please keep whips from drying out prior to planting. Whips can be planted by laying them down at an angle and burying them with soil until at least two-thirds of each whip is covered. Whips can also be inserted into the ground, either at an angle or vertical (as described above for live stakes). Whips can be bound together to create wattles or brush mattresses. These structures catch sediment and prevent erosion, and a portion of the whips used will root into the ground and grow into shrubs.

Woman holding two sapling whips for planting