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#483185 - 11/26/17 08:10 PM how close is to close, trees near dam
Heath10 Offline

Registered: 11/05/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
im new here and im not sure if im posting this in the right section. Anyways I just had a pond built and the dam turned out it needed to be a U-shaped instead of a straight dam and now I have some trees that are close to the dam and im not sure if they'll become a problem in the future. I have a pine tree and a couple of small sweet gums at the edge of where they stopped the dirt for the dam on one of the sides. I have some sweet gum and willow at the base of the backside of the dam. then the trees in the tubes are cypress right at the edge of the dam on the other side and a pine tree near the tubes that is at the edge of the start of the dam. Are they to close?

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#483207 - 11/27/17 09:07 AM Re: how close is to close, trees near dam [Re: Heath10]
snrub Online   content

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5323
Loc: SE Kansas
Welcome to the forum Heath10.

I read your post yesterday and was waiting to see what replies you get, not knowing myself a real specific answer to your question.

The thing about trees around a dam, there probably are not any absolute rules. Hopefully some of the experts that have dealt with this for many years have some established guidelines though.

There are people on the forum that have in the past indicated they liked the trees so much for their benefit that they were willing to take somewhat of a chance on them causing problems by having them closer than what would be normally recomended.

Thing about tree roots in a dam, they are less likely to cause a problem while the tree is living than after the tree dies. When a tree dies the dead root will eventually rot out and leave a channel for water to flow. That is the biggest danger. I have seen lots of trees directly growing on a pond dam without the dam leaking so it is not an absolute that they will cause any immediate problem. It is just that they increase the risk of causing leaks. Particularly when the trees die but they could also potentially cause a path even when alive.

So far I have not really given you the answer you want, mostly because I do not have a definitive answer. But I nearly always have an opinion, right or wrong. grin

So now for my possibly right or wrong opinion. If you had trees directly growing on the dam, I would say that would be a definite negative. Not an absolute "they are going to cause a leak" problem, but definitely increasing the possibility down the road as the trees age. But from your pictures you do not have any trees directly on the dam. That is a positive.

I would say that you are in pretty good shape. I do not know enough about tree varieties to know the rooting structure other than I do know some trees tend to more have a tap root with a root ball contained mostly within the drip line of the limbs. Other trees (like Osage Orange) can extend roots far beyond the drip line and in my opinion would create more of a hazard to a dam if they were close to the base of the dam as in your pictures.

So my personal opinion is, if you value the trees, I would say you would not have any great danger of them causing problems and if they did it would likely be a half lifetime away, based on their location. If you want to be absolutely 100% positive trees can never cause any dam leakage problems, make the area look like a barren prairie.

How's that for hedging my recommendation?

Edited by snrub (11/27/17 09:11 AM)

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#483210 - 11/27/17 10:09 AM Re: how close is to close, trees near dam [Re: Heath10]
KapHn8d Offline

Registered: 10/02/17
Posts: 160
Loc: TX
Agree with what's been said, but my first thought was it probably also has a lot do to with the type of tree. Based on the photos you provided, it doesn't look like the hardwoods are terribly close to the dam - and I'd be more concerned with those root systems than that of pine (which also aren't very close). My best guess is you are good to go, but I'm sure there are some experienced folks with this sort of thing that can confirm.

Welcome to the forum!
96.85840735 percent clayton... the rest is just pi.

We become what we think about.

#483212 - 11/27/17 10:19 AM Re: how close is to close, trees near dam [Re: Heath10]
Dave Davidson1 Offline

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13657
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
They don't look too close to me.
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

#483215 - 11/27/17 10:41 AM Re: how close is to close, trees near dam [Re: Heath10]
John Fitzgerald Offline

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 2095
Loc: S. end of Elkins, Arkansas
They look like the ones behind my pond, and about the same distance. My pond leaks and the excess water killed most of the trees below the dam except the cedars. They don't look too close to me. If you have a bunch of seepage they will likely die the first year after filling.
If they are below the toe of the backside, they probably won't hurt the dam unless they are willows or soft maple, which can send roots a hundred feet to water in some cases.

#483390 - 11/30/17 01:33 AM Re: how close is to close, trees near dam [Re: Heath10]
Heath10 Offline

Registered: 11/05/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
Thanks guys for the opinions. I think I知 going to transplant the cypress trees, to me they are to close. I値l probably leave the pine trees. I have young sweet gums everywhere on the property, I値l probably cut the few down that are close to the dam. And then on the backside of the dam those trees are lower then the bottom of the dam and they are a pretty good distance away from the main part of the dam I値l keep them but one of them is a willow I値l cut down, I don稚 want it痴 roots growing up towards the dam. And I知 only 25 so I could end up being around this pond for the next 50 years and I want to do everything right and not have to worry about it later down the road.

#483395 - 11/30/17 08:13 AM Re: how close is to close, trees near dam [Re: Heath10]
SetterGuy Offline

Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1339
Loc: NE Missouri
These trees are behind my dam, but they are actually on my neighbors property. Not much I can do about it. I was going for the largest pond surface area I could, so I pushed the dam up against the property boundary. I'm just hoping they don't cause problems. At least not in my lifetime. wink

IMG_0075.JPG (68 downloads)

4 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.


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