By Natural Areas Tech, Jared Smith
The adaptations that exist in nature constantly surprise, amaze, and fill me with wonder about what can be found out our backdoor. With the consistent rains of the autumn upon us, the rise and fall of the creek waters can create some erosion and stream bank problems for us at the park. A strategy for us to secure or limit the erosion on some of our stream banks is to preform nature’s magic trick of turning sticks into trees to keep the soil in place. Let's a look at a tree species that can perform this trick and some basic steps you could take to repeat this at home.
The tree species that we will be focusing on is the willow; this plant serves us wonderfully at the park for its ability of sprouting new trees from harvested branches and loving to grow in moisture-heavy areas. In nature, many circumstances can cause a willow tree to lose a healthy branch. When a branch falls and is stranded on the ground, it can start to generate new roots from its base due to a special plant hormone, Indolebutyric acid. It won’t take long before this fast-growing species turns from stick to a tree.
Within the park’s operation area, we have a cluster of willows that allows us to harvest for live stakes. If you have a willow on your property, or another species of tree that possesses Indolebutyric acid, you can follow these simple steps below to help yourself propagate your owntree from a harvested branch.
Whether you are interested in your own stream bank care or wanting to add more of these special species to your property, by taking the time to follow the steps above you can take your harvest from branches to a full grove of adult trees.
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