Volunteers Join Chesapeake Bay Foundation to Plant 600 Live Stakes from Native Trees

(HARRISBURG, PA)—Twenty-five volunteers braved snow flurries and blustery conditions on Saturday, to plant 600 live stakes from native trees at the Quittapahilla Educational Wetland Preserve in Lebanon County.

Live stakes are cuttings from dormant branches of fast-growing trees and shrubs. When pushed into wet soil, the stakes sprout new roots from the bud. The live stakes are inexpensive renewable resources, easy to plant, and require no digging.

Eight youths were part of Saturday's group. Together they planted red osier dogwood and black willow stakes, as well as cuttings from dogwoods that were onsite.

Planting trees in areas like the Quittapahilla Preserve helps wetlands protect water quality by filtering sediment and nutrients from water. The Preserve sits at the headwaters of the Quittapahilla Creek and is within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

"By teaching our volunteers how to identify fast-growing tree species that work well for live staking, how to cut them and how to plant them, they now have a new tool to use in future projects," said Kate Austin, CBF's PA grassroots field specialist. "This is a great technique for watershed associations, scout troops, volunteer organizations, private landowners, and restoration professionals alike."

The planting was organized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Penn State University's "Greening the Lower Susquehanna" project, in partnership with the Lebanon County Conservation District. It was a continuation of a seedling planting by volunteers last fall.

For more information, contact Kate Austin, at kaustin@cbf.org, or call 717/234-5550, ext. 4222.

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