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#80648 - 01/02/07 12:56 AM Trees in the dam
Tinkerr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Md.
Hi All,
I recently purchased a property with a small pond on it. The dam has a number of small trees growing in it and 2 larger(about 8"across) hickory trees. I thought,great it will help maintain the integrity of the dam. After reading other posts I see this is going to lead to future problems. Do I cut down and remove all the trees? Any ideas? Thanks Paul

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#80649 - 01/02/07 03:11 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Dave Davidson Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Welcome to PB Paul. At that size, I think I would have to keep the larger ones. If you kill them, the roots will rot and leave a void. The alternative is to kill them and be prepared to dig them out and repack the dam. You might be hosed no matter which way you go.

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#80650 - 01/02/07 03:43 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Brettski Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6916
Loc: Illinois
I have a ton of shagbark hickory trees. The tree-guy from the timber company said that they have a tap root to goes half way to China. I don't know how this relates to your situation, but might be helpful when considering options.
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#80651 - 01/03/07 04:51 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Tinkerr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Md.
Are all trees in a dam a bad thing, or is it relative to the size of the dam and the type of trees. The dam is approx. 9' at the top and 20' at the base 15'H and 40'L. I have been told the trees I thought were hickory are actually poplar trees. Thanks Paul

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#80652 - 01/03/07 06:11 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Theo Gallus Online   content
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12405
Loc: Central Ohio
I think the bigger the tree, the bigger the (potential) problem. With small trees, up to maybe 4" in diameter or so, removal is usually recommended. But the root systems on big trees can be so extensive that short of a dam renovation that could approach major proportions, the best thing to do may be to keep the tree trimmed (to cut down on sail area in big winds) and healthy (so it doesn't die on you).
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#80653 - 01/03/07 08:46 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Victor Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 240
Loc: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Ugh. The dreaded poplar tree. I don't know about everyone else's experiences, but the only trees I lose around my place are the big poplars. They grow like weeds and seem to blow down very easily. I am no pond or tree expert, but I can tell you I have cut plenty of large fallen poplars over the last twelve years. I think I would take my chances and cut the trees down - even the big ones - before they get bigger. Either way it is a gamble I guess.

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#80654 - 01/03/07 08:57 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
That's a small steep dam!
Where on the dam are the poplars located? This is the Tulip poplar? The roots from 2 mature poplars will pretty much consume that small of a dam!
Poplars don't do well with trimming but I think I would take Theo's advise & try topping them maybe half way up & keeping them trimmed.

If not trimmed when mature they will have huge tap roots & will send out roots as big as your arm 50' from the trunk.
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#80655 - 01/04/07 12:46 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Tinkerr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Md.
The trees are tulip poplars and they are on the pond side of the dam. I was of the belief poplars had a shallow root system that's why they're susceptible to blow overs in heavy winds. I'll be repairing the spillway this spring and installing a discharge pipe(they didn't install one when the pond was built in the mid 60's). I suppose I'll tackle the removal of the trees at that point. The one trees is in close proximity to the spill way and removal could be incooperated in the repair, but the other is in the middle of the dam. Thanks for your reply's Paul

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#80656 - 01/04/07 06:26 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13660
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Paul, is there some really good reason for installing the discharge pipe?
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#80657 - 01/04/07 07:38 PM Re: Trees in the dam
Ric Swaim Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
I've never had a poplar blow over, that's not to say they don't. I've seen them break off & they are susceptible to lightening strikes.
I recently cleared an area for my pond which had several mature poplars on it, up to 3' in dia. The root balls were 6' in depth & 7'-8' wide. IMO if you're going to be working on the dam anyway, removing the poplar stumps shouldn't add too much cost to the job. It would sure give peace of mind for down the road.
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If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!
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#80658 - 01/05/07 02:50 AM Re: Trees in the dam
Tinkerr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Md.
Dave,
The original spillway eroded, this was my solution. the discharge/drain pipe will maintain water level and handle moderate rain fall. The spillway would handle excess water during heavy rains. I don't know the original design of the spillway or much else about the pond other than it was built in the 60's and then forgotten/neglected until now. I'm a novice where it concerns ponds and thought if one is good then both would be better also this design would hopefully eliminate future problems. I'm open for suggestions I am by no means a authority. Paul

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#80659 - 01/11/07 09:42 AM Re: Trees in the dam
otto Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 1074
Loc: texas
Here is sort of my rule of thumb with trees on a dam. If the trees on are on top, then they are probably OK, if on the back side of the dam, you may or may not encounter problems, so if the tree is smaller than your arm, cut it down, if larger you may want to leave it where it is. If we can assist you further, you can email me at mikeotto@ottosdirtservice.com or call my office at 940.665.2258 mon to fri from 8 to 12.

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