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#426785 - 10/15/15 08:35 PM How much effect do trees have on pond water level
chuckinnc Offline


Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 7
Loc: NC
I have a 40yr old farm pond with declining water level, it has a very
small slow spring feeding it, the pond is about 1 acre. The water table
around our area has gone down steadily over the years and the small trees, sprouts surrounding the pond have turned into huge trees. Im wondering if it would be worth the effort to cut most of the trees surrounding the pond to increase the water level? Does anyone know how much effect trees have
on pond water, especially one like mine with very little supply.

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#426794 - 10/15/15 09:40 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
basslover Offline


Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 545
Loc: USA
Depends on the tree and its growth stage and health. But a large tree can drink 100 gallons of water per day. Source: http://www.americanforests.org/discover-forests/tree-facts/

and

http://www.ncsu.edu/project/treesofstrength/treefact.htm


Our pond was surrounded by trees. Trees right at the waters edge where you can see the roots in the clear water, and trees back from the edge but their canopy reaching to the waters edge, and tree even further back.

In my quest to reduce water loss this year I began slaying the trees. I love the beauty and the look of all the trees around the pond, but without water the beauty is lost. So I identified a crapton of trees and cut them down using a handsaw. I did leave some trees, ones that offered unique branches, shapes, shade, etc., and I still have half the pond to go around still. But I sure cut down a lot already. LOL

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#426796 - 10/15/15 10:06 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
catmandoo Offline
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I don't think there is any reasonable method for most of us non-professional geeks to determine how much water that a tree can take from a pond or stream each day.

However, it has been studied, and they can take a substantial amount of water from shallow aquifers.

It was long enough ago (late 1990s/early 2000s) to where I can't quickly find the results of studies along the various tributaries and main streams of the Potomac River. It was discovered that the very large old sycamore trees, with their huge leaves and massive root systems, were respirating immense amounts of moisture each day from the Potomac River basin.

This shows up in the article posted below. I will post more if I can find more about this.

"Their theory was that the underground aquifer around the river is shallow, sandy and porous, and that trees, which on a hot day can each consume 100 gallons of groundwater, might be indirectly taking water from the river via the aquifer."

Quote:
Keeping the Potomac River Running
By Michael E. Ruane September 29, 2002 Follow @michaelruane

Erik Hagen and Julie Kiang were in search of the water thieves: whoever, or whatever, in these parched times, seemed to be filching precious water from the Potomac River between Point of Rocks and Little Falls.

The two experts weren't sure how, but about 200 million gallons a day appeared to be vanishing between the first spot, south of Frederick, and the second, about 35 miles down river, outside Washington.

On a recent afternoon, armed with a hammer, wrenches and surveying equipment, the two officials of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin tromped through the woods along the Potomac just below Seneca Creek to check out a hunch.

As they walked into the underbrush, they were suddenly surrounded by the suspects -- silent, gnarled, towering characters. Trees.

It was just as they hypothesized, the pair concluded after taking measurements and checking the level in a freshly sunk well at the river bank. The drought is so bad that the trees' water consumption, which usually affects mainly groundwater, may now be detectable in the flow on the river.

Normally, Hagen said, it wouldn't be much noticed. But these days every drop is missed.

All season, Hagen, deputy director of the basin commission co-op that monitors local water resources, and Kiang, a water resources scientist, have been watching the river, which helps supply water to 3.6 million people in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

And it is they who have been orchestrating the releases of water to the river from two large reservoirs, created decades ago for just such emergencies.

Lately, as conditions have worsened and more and more reservoir water has been required to sustain the proper supply and quality in the Potomac, the task has become increasingly complex and demanding.

"We have to do a lot of forecasting, and a lot of thinking ahead," Hagen said recently. "The river never sleeps."

Among other things, he said, the combined level in the 30 billion-gallon Jennings Randolph reservoir, 200 miles upstream on the Potomac's north branch, and the 3.8 billion-gallon Little Seneca Reservoir, in Montgomery County, has dropped to the lowest point since their creation in the early 1980s.

The combined levels stand at about 65 percent of capacity, Hagen said. The previous low level, during the drought in 1999, was 78 percent, he said.

Joseph K. Hoffman, executive director of the commission, said that when the combined reservoir level drops below 60 percent and stays there for five days, the commission then recommends that the area begin voluntary water use restrictions. Such restrictions could be called for in about two weeks if conditions don't improve, he said.

Hagen said, however, that with the passing of the summer, the consumption of water naturally eases. "We're through the meat, the worst of the drought season," he said. "Now the tree leaves start to come off." With that, the environment's demand for water drops and river flows will start to come up, he said.

In one Potomac tributary, levels are starting to inch up, he said. "It's really amazing."

Even so, the region's water deficit continues to loom, though it was helped by substantial precipitation that fell recently in outlying areas of the Potomac river basin. While the Washington area got a few sprinkles, said Kiang, the water scientist, some areas around the Shenandoah Valley were soaked with more than two inches.

It was enough that a water supply release that was underway at the Jennings Randolph reservoir was halted last week, at least for the moment, Hagen said.

But that still left the question of the missing water, and he and Kiang, who are working on the mystery with the U.S. Geological Survey, took their equipment to the river recently to do some detective work.

Their theory was that the underground aquifer around the river is shallow, sandy and porous, and that trees, which on a hot day can each consume 100 gallons of groundwater, might be indirectly taking water from the river via the aquifer.

Hagen said experts knew that trees could drink up groundwater. "We didn't realize that there'd actually be water coming out of this system to the point where it would be drawing water from the river," he said.

His plan was to compare the level of the river with the adjacent level of the groundwater. A low groundwater level might suggest where the river water was disappearing.

As he and Kiang surveyed the river and dropped an electrode into a shallow well to compare the groundwater, Hagen said: "If the water's lower [in the well], we know that water's coming out of the river and moving into the forest."

When they finished their calculations, they found that the groundwater level was almost a foot lower than the river. "That means that water's moving from the river . . . into the forest, all up and down, probably both sides of the river."

"You start looking at all these trees," Hagen said, indicating the quiet suspects bent toward the Potomac, "and you can see why there's this big gradient."

The real culprit, though, arched overhead: It was clear and blue and held not a single cloud.

Scientist Julie Kiang of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin checks the water level inside a pipe along the river, which helps supply water to 3.6 million people.Erik Hagen and Julie Kiang monitor the river's water levels. The two control the releases of water to the river from two large reservoirs.


I guess it really depends on where in the state you are located. We own a home in Brunswick county NC. As you can imagine, our water table is rather high right now. Last week it was still above ground level.

Unfortunately, in some of the cotton and tobacco regions, a lot of water is pulled out of the normally water saturated sand. Lots of it goes back into the aqaufiers, but lots also becomes evaporation. Droughts just make it worse, and as the trees and vegetation breath, they just become the puffy white clouds we enjoy seeing.

Taking out the trees is a double-edged sword. They provide shade and cooling, which slows down the movement of ground moisture into the atmosphere. But, they also take up a lot of moisture that moves from the ground water into the atmosphere.

I hope a lot of others will provide some better answers that what I can provide.

I know that my West Virginia ponds have remained at full-pool for the last several years. My poor North Carolina alligators range from thirst to near drowning.

Ken
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#426799 - 10/15/15 10:25 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Not disagreeing with anyone but I have a massive weeping willow next to one of my 1/10th acre ponds. And even with it not getting well water for trout, I don't notice an appreciable drop in water level. But I do see the roots in the water!

The the thing I do hate about the willows I have on the property is their messiness: they drop lots of branches! And if you have a connection in a drainpipe thst is not water tight they will work their roots in and clog the pipe. Been there done that!


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (10/15/15 10:26 PM)
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If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.







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#426800 - 10/15/15 10:39 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
teehjaeh57 Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7904
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I was told an adult cottonwood can consume 500g daily - I could never verify this, but I keep all saplings pulled or sprayed around the pond. I have considered felling mature cottonwoods around the pond but don't have the heart.
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#426809 - 10/16/15 07:32 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6946
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
What if we do a little math. One surface acre equates to 27000 gallons of water. So if a tree consumes 100 gallons daily, then it will take 270 trees to lower the water level one inch per day That's a rough estimate, as different species of trees consume varying amounts of water, but it's ballpark.

So, by my calculations that means each tree that consumes 100 gallons will lower the water level in that 1 acre pond by .0037", per day. A sheet of notebook paper is often listed as .003"

I'm not cutting any trees just yet.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#426810 - 10/16/15 08:00 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
chuckinnc Offline


Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 7
Loc: NC
Thanks for making it easier, I will count the number of trees x
days without any water flowing in and this should answer my question.

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#426814 - 10/16/15 08:26 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
That's about right as Spark said. I have about 13 or 14 large pine trees around my pond. They can consume up to 100 gallons a day that 1300 gallons a day 9100 in a week that's a lot of water plus you figure about .25 to .50 a day for evaporation and all of a sudden in a couple of weeks your pond is going down fairly quick..... Lets just say it's not helping none.

RC
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The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#426818 - 10/16/15 09:14 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6946
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
I wonder how much of the benefit gained by cutting trees is offset by increased evaporation due to added sunlight and wind reaching the pond's surface?
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#426829 - 10/16/15 10:31 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Hey now I never thought of it that way?? Your right depending where your trees are more sun could hit the pond and what wind direction you get the most could effect it....

Good question man,

RC
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The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#426838 - 10/16/15 11:55 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: RC51]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Or how much the pond will benefit from having the trees cut, and less leaves falling into the pond every year.
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#426844 - 10/16/15 12:14 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6946
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Or how much more time you're going to spend mowing, cutting, and spraying the undesirable vegetation that moves in once the sun blocking canopy overhead is removed. Lots of ways to turn this one.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#426845 - 10/16/15 12:31 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5677
Loc: Boone County Illinois
All I know is I would rather be sitting in the shade on a hot Sunday afternoon than in the hot sun while fishing. smile
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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#426855 - 10/16/15 05:31 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: Bill D.]
basslover Offline


Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 545
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
All I know is I would rather be sitting in the shade on a hot Sunday afternoon than in the hot sun while fishing. smile


And I would rather be fishing in the sun than looking at a dry hole.

wink

haha


Regarding wind and sun - for us, I am removing trees on water's edge, leaving some. Mostly we have pines, and they offer little in the way of shade over the water. Our pond is surrounded by mature trees 35' and taller on all sides, and hills that elevate up more than 45' on 3 sides. So there is plenty of sun blockage and wind blockage. Due to the "bowl like" nature of our pond sitting in the valley I can cull the trees immediately at water's edge and leave a few but leave more in that are 15' or more from water's edge, as these are mature tall trees and they block the sun quite a bit.

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#426860 - 10/16/15 08:03 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6946
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
And another twist...we add dye to shade the water, does removing trees encourage aquatic plant growth? More FA, anyone?
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

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#426862 - 10/16/15 08:47 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: teehjaeh57]
fishm_n Offline


Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 732
Loc: Sturgis, SD
Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
I was told an adult cottonwood can consume 500g daily - I could never verify this, but I keep all saplings pulled or sprayed around the pond. I have considered felling mature cottonwoods around the pond but for have the heart.



You guys ever fell live cotton woods? I did two in my yard and it was amazing the water that poorer out of them! There was some real pressure behind them.
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#438050 - 02/19/16 09:19 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
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Loc: Arkansas
I am currently taking on this task on the opposite side of my dam where I have about 14 big pines right next to the waters edge at full pool.

I will be cutting them all down and burning under brush and planting grass of some sort. I will go going back from the edge about 20 feet at full pool. So if could very well be 40 feet in summer time. These pines have basically no shade help on the pond so I don't have to worry about that. We have dropped 3 so far I will keep you guys posted as to how it goes and take a few pics.

RC


Edited by RC51 (02/19/16 09:19 AM)
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The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#438051 - 02/19/16 09:22 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: RC51]
Pat Williamson Offline


Registered: 08/08/14
Posts: 2446
Loc: Oakwood,Texas
RC
Call around and see if you can sell the pines to a lumber cutting outfit. You might be surprised how much they are worth

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#438060 - 02/19/16 10:47 AM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Hey Pat I am taking some of them to a saw mill to have cut up in 2x4's and 2x8's. So yeah I am trying to use some of them for sure!!

thx,
RC
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#438063 - 02/19/16 12:04 PM Re: How much effect do trees have on pond water level [Re: chuckinnc]
Rainman Offline
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Personally, I suggest removing any shoreline trees that have the drip-line over the water. Unless a tree species grows well in saturated sub-soils(like Bald Cypress), most will eventually die anyway if roots get cut during excavation or the drip line extends into the water.
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