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Total Likes: 1
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by neopond
Our quarter acre pond is surrounded by clay soil. We have surrounding properties that have a 1 to 2% grade sloped to the yard and pond. I would estimate at least two surface acres runoff during heavy rain and snow melt. The yard is sodded, but due to trees it's not dense grass/lawn. So there is soil wash into the pond. And a sudden increase in muskrat activity the past year didn't help.

About 15 years ago my Mom had purchased Yellow Iris plants that ultimately didn't work in her flower garden. She later found out they are a water loving flower and suggested I take the flat she had for near the edge of our pond. The plants took to the edge of the water where I placed them and bloomed hardily the following year. Fast-forward to this year. After 15 years the Yellow Iris are around about 80% of the pond edges. They are aggressive spreaders due the germination of floating seeds. The wind blows the seeds to the pond edges and the seeds germinate from there. My observation has been that one, the plants don't spread outward much from the pond edge, so they won't take over shallow water like cattails. Two, the plants have a root network comprised of tubers and root mats. This second characteristic makes me think the plant could be a beneficial soil stabilizer to the pond banks. In my experience the plant stalks grow to about 3' in height, so while a minor nuisance to fishing, the plants don't stop use of the banks for fishing. The yellow blooms in early June are appealing and add to the pond aesthetics.

I know the Yellow Iris is on the list of invasive species in Ohio and elsewhere. My strategy to deal with this would be to cut off the seed pods in later summer to eliminate or limit spreading of the plant by seeding. The plants themselves also spread via the root system, but not rapidly or out of control. At one time I allowed native cattails to spread around the pond. I found the cattails to be much too invasive into up to 5' of water. This shrunk the pond size considerably. That was not an easy problem to eliminate either. The Yellow Iris seem to be a better pond bank plant solution.

Are there concerns with any chemicals the Yellow Iris plants generate into the water?? Any other problems the plants might cause that I should be aware of?? I've read from the Web that the plant has a chemical that many browsing animals avoid. (Despite this, the muskrats don't seem to care in my experience. I've found springy, carbon steel quite effective in dealing with the rats....). Thanks!
Liked Replies
by neopond
Hmmm...maybe sometime I can make time to take a roadtrip to see RAH's pond in person. I bet that would be a treat-- for me anyway! wink
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