Bioengineering Plants

What are bioengineering plants?

Bioengineering plants are live, dormant “stakes” and  branches harvested from mature stock plants.  The most common species include shrub willows (Salix spp.) and shrub dogwoods (Cornus spp.). The material is then used in a variety of techniques to establish vegetation along eroded streambanks and lake shorelines.

How do I order bioengineering plants for my project?

Bioengineering plant material is fresh harvested to order. You can email or fax (717-529-4099) us your plant requirements for a quote.  Please read below for information about harvest seasons and order lead time. Return to Order Screen.

In what forms are bioengineering plants available?

Bioengineering plants are available in the following forms:

  • Live Stakes – 1/2″-1.5″ diameter, sold in 1′, 2′ and 3′ lengths
  • Facines – 4-5″, 6-8″, and 9-12″ diameter by 5′ or 6′ long bundles of live branches; tied at the ends and middle to form a “cigar-shaped” bundle. Sold per linear foot.
  • Rooted Cuttings – 2 1/2″ diameter by 4.5″ deep – sold in flats of 50 plants. Rooted Cuttings are only sold as “contract grow orders.”

When can I get bioengineering plants for my project?

We supply plant material from early December through the end of March (weather dependent). Plant material is harvested when the stock plants are completely dormant. Planting must occur while stems remain dormant. Because plants are harvested to order, please allow 10-15 business days from time of order until shipment.

What if I can’t get them planted right away, how should I maintain them?

Plant material should be kept moist and held in a cool, shady area.  Do not allowed them to freeze or dry out. If live stakes are not planted after 2-3 days, the cut end may callous over and affect the plants ability to absorb moisture and develop roots. Fresh cuts should be made to the chisel point end prior to installation.   Live stakes can be maintained by putting them in a 5-gallon bucket with water for smaller quantities.

Where can I get additional information about bioengineering techniques?

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Engineering Field Handbook, Chapter 16, Streambank and Shoreline Protection.