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#136344 - 10/17/08 08:46 PM advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
Hello!

I joined this forum about a year ago and asked some questions about ponds that didn't belong to me and everyone was very helpful.

I'm proud to announce that I am now the owner of my own pond! So, I'm sure I'll have lots of questions.

The first thing I know I have to do is remove the trees from my earthen dam. They are about 7 years old and almost all pines. I know I need to get them off but I'm wondering if I need to treat the stumps with something so that they don't become "straws" when they dry out.

I searched the site before I posted this question but I didn't find any info on this particular situation.

What do y'all recommend?

BTW: I'm in Georgia if it makes any difference.
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If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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#136345 - 10/17/08 08:54 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Al Davison]
Theo Gallus Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12394
Loc: Central Ohio
Al, how big are the trees in diameter at ground level?
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#136357 - 10/17/08 11:50 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Theo Gallus]
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
The largest of these pines are less than 6" diameter at the base. Most are smaller. We've been in a drought so they are perhaps a little stunted but, I have an aerial photo of the pond taken only a few years ago and there were practically no tree visible on the dam.

So, the trees aren't substantial but they are thick - not too many on the top surface of the dam (which is flat like a road bed because there was an unpaved access road that was used many years ago?) but the front and back sides have grown up in mostly pine and a little privet.

I don't know if this link will work so you can see the aerial view or not but, here it is:
http://qpublic3.qpublic.net/ga_clarke.ht...=242C1%20D099#1
_________________________
If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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#136359 - 10/17/08 11:56 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Al Davison]
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
If that link works the way I hope, you can see pretty clearly the pond as it was about 5 years ago. You may even be able to zoom in on it and see the concrete block overflow box.

This land and this pond has a protected perpetual stream running through it so I'm required to let the water flow through. I've seen the pond rise by more than 4 feet when we had a long hard rain and I've seen it way, way down due to our drought over the summer.

BTW: I'm very limited in the work I'm allowed to do on this property but, that's OK because I don't want to do very much other than protect the dam by clearing the trees and make sure I maintain the current very healthy and aggressive LMB population. In short, I bought it for fishing and the fishing is really good!


Note: the pond was way low when this picture was taken and, yes! those are snake-proof chaps I'm wearing. ;\)


Edited by Al Davison (10/18/08 12:01 AM)
Edit Reason: added pic
_________________________
If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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#136370 - 10/18/08 09:40 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Al Davison]
jeffhasapond Offline
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Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
First off congratulations on the purchase of your pond. Beautiful looking place!

Great LMB!
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JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#136372 - 10/18/08 09:48 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: jeffhasapond]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
I seem to remember if you cut down the trees the roots etc. will eventually rot and could cause a leak with the voids they leave. However there is a danger with the trees too I believe.
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#136373 - 10/18/08 09:50 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: jeffhasapond]
Bob Lusk Offline
Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
Lunker

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 3106
Loc: Whitesboro, Texas
Al,
Trees so young should be able to be removed from the dam without much worry.
I've have no problems cutting trees of 4" diameter (measured 3 feet from the ground).
At the same time, I would try to figure out how large the root balls are and what impact they might do to the dam. Before cutting, you might seek the opinion of a competent earthmover in the area. Get him on site, let him look and tell you what he thinks.
_________________________
Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...

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#136374 - 10/18/08 09:56 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: jeffhasapond]
BuckeyeWilly Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 89
Loc: eastern ohio
Al, beautiful pond. Love all the standing timber behind you. Snake proof chaps? Yikes!!! There are supposed to be some copperheads in my area of eastern ohio but I have never seen one and thats just fine with me.

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#136384 - 10/18/08 06:46 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: BuckeyeWilly]
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
Thanks, y'all! For both the compliments and the advice.

The place really is beautiful and has lots of standing timber in it (not shown in the photo) that is home to woodpeckers, kingfishers, wood ducks, herons, and lots of small song birds - not to mention the LMB, a few bluegill (maybe too few but that's yet to be determined and another subject for another topic), and at least one crappie. There's also a large population of whitetail deer, coyotes, foxes, turtles, frogs, and the inevitable (in Georgia) beavers.

The pond has never been stocked. My belief is that the fish are either "escapees" from a much larger pond upstream or they were the result of the wading birds transporting eggs on the legs and feet.

This place is a tough, tough place to fish! There is so much wood in the pond that it can only be described as HEAVY cover. We use braided lines almost exclusive and we still break off and/or straighten a lot of hooks. You have to be careful not to break rod tips by using lots of slack in the line and gloves to pull the hooks off the logs without overstressing the rods. We still lose a lot of fish that get wrapped up in the logs, limbs, and trees. I LOVE it!

I will try to find some local expertise to evaluate the situation, too. My problem is that I've spent almost all my money just acquiring the property so, I have practically nothing left to use to hire anybody to help. It's also in an area that is classified as "environmentally sensitive" so I'm very limited in what I can do regarding any kind of land disturbance. I knew all of this very well before I made the purchase. In the event of some catastrophic failure of the dam, I could get permission to bring in earth-moving equipment but, only if the dam was on the verge of failing completely.

So, having said that, I *think* my only option is to get those trees off while they are still small and do all I can to mitigate any problems.

That's my basic question: what constitutes doing "all I can"?
_________________________
If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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#136438 - 10/19/08 05:11 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Al Davison]
SoSauty Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 126
Loc: South Sauty Creek Northern AL
What a pond, what a bass! Pines grow fast and cause the water to be acidic, get 'em out now. A good sized lopper does wonders on the soft wood, you can lop lots of 1 & 2 inchers in an hour! Wear those snake chaps. For 1 or 2 or 3 5-6" diameter pines, dig around 'em a foot down, chainsaw major roots, including the tap root under the ball, so you get out most the root ball. I see no problems if your dam has more 'n foot of crest. If water comes within inches of topping your dam crest, then pack some clayey soil back with a shovel where the root balls came out. Like Nike says, "Just do it!"


Edited by SoSauty (10/19/08 05:13 PM)
Edit Reason: get all my thoughts in there
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Self-educated rednecks, the real intelligentsia.

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#137416 - 10/28/08 08:21 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: SoSauty]
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
any other ideas? we're getting ready to start cutting.
_________________________
If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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#137418 - 10/28/08 08:29 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Al Davison]
dave in el dorado ca Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
what kind of pines are they? loblolly, longleaf, pitch, virginia? from my experience, most coastal plane species have shallow roots and in IMHO a 6" tree wont have penetrated too deeply into the dam structure. i'm with bob and sosauty....cut them out confidently, and yer options would be to simply cut low to ground and leave the small stumps, or remove the main rootball just below surface and repack w/ clayey soil. i'd probably just leave the stumps.
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#137472 - 10/29/08 08:44 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: dave in el dorado ca]
ezylman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/04/07
Posts: 267
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Al...

Flush cut with a chain saw. Should work out just fine.
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Water dries, rocks crumble, and trees die. The only thing that is eternal is the reputation we leave behind.
- Ancient Viking Proverb


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#137531 - 10/29/08 04:48 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: ezylman]
Ryan Freeze Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 1285
Loc: Southwest Ohio
For 6" pine trees a cordless sawzall works surprisingly fast and is much safer.

I wouldn't worry about the roots. Don't pine roots grow like a fan? flat and wide and shallow? Seems as though this would be less of a risk when they rot.
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"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking

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#137552 - 10/29/08 08:31 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Ryan Freeze]
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
The pines around here have a large tap root. Longleaf pine being the worst in that regard.
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#137589 - 10/30/08 08:35 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Ric Swaim]
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
Thanks, y'all!

I'll try to find out what kind of pines they are - I don't know how to identify them but I have a book about it so I can look it up.

Also, thanks for the advice about the sawzall - I was thinking about that because I hate running chainsaws! Those things scare me.
_________________________
If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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#137603 - 10/30/08 10:10 AM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: Al Davison]
dave in el dorado ca Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
hey al, pine tree ID is not so bad. you probably dont care this much, i just happen to love pines, made a pine cone collection a long time ago, and offer this info if you want to use it....its pretty basic stuff.

get yerserlf a good pine tree book. it helps to have a general idea of what species occur naturally in your area, after you get this list goin the three key things to ID the pine are cone type, needle cluster type, bark characteristics, and less importantly but helpful are needle length and color.


1)every species' pine cones are different. get a representative collection of your pine's cones and compare to those in the book.
2)pines are grouped by number of needles in a typical cluster (2 needle pine, 3 needle pine, 5 needle pine), how many needles are in your pine's clusters?
3)what type of bark do they have, furrowed, platey, smooth, scaley?

average needle length and color can help too.

have fun.
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GSF are people too!


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#137631 - 10/30/08 12:13 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: dave in el dorado ca]
jeffhasapond Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Way, way to much work in my opinion DIED.

Here's what you do.

1. Invite DIED over to your place.
2. Give him a cold beer.
3. Point to a tree and say "What kind of tree is that Dave?"
4. Write down and remember the answer because he may give you a pop quiz later in the day.
_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#137633 - 10/30/08 12:15 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: jeffhasapond]
dave in el dorado ca Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
cold beer?
where?
i'm there \:\)
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GSF are people too!


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#137645 - 10/30/08 02:22 PM Re: advice wanted on cutting pine trees off my dam [Re: dave in el dorado ca]
Al Davison Offline

Lunker

Registered: 10/20/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Athens, Georgia
Well, Athens, GA is a long way to come for a look at a pine tree and a cold beer but, come on over whenever you're ready. ;-)
_________________________
If you're too scared to throw that bait where the fish are, why did you tie it on?

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