Live Stakes Planting Pilot Project


Live stake planting is a technique used to establish streamside (riparian) vegetation by cutting stems from parent plants, then inserting them into the stream banks.

In February 2024, a pilot project to harvest and plant live stakes collected in Arlington was begun. County staff and volunteers harvested nearly 800 live stakes from trees and shrubs under a power line in Barcroft Park. The live stakes were cut and soaked in water, then planted in eroding stream banks at Gulf Branch.

The live stakes were planted in sections of Gulf Branch that the upcoming stream project won't cover, after the Gulf Branch project scope was reduced to help limit tree impacts and prioritize high-risk areas.

By planting live stakes along this stream section, we aim to:

  • Provide stabilizing tree and shrub roots to help hold soil in place and slow erosion,
  • Use native species that are well-adapted and suitable for live stakes and local Arlington streams,
  • Gather information about effectiveness of locally cut live stakes in Arlington streams.

Many thanks to the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists (ARMN), stream monitors and community members who helped make the live stakes harvesting and planting day successful! 

All photos copyright and courtesy of Master Naturalist Toni Genberg. See more ARMN photos.