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Joined: Jul 2019
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I have a 3 acre pond that is heavily forested. There are tons of very large tree branches with multiple branches that have fallen off the surrounding trees in the water.

I'm debating whether I should clear some of this stuff out. Many of these branches are extremely large and can't be carried out of the water so I would have to use a chainsaw or something to cut them into smaller pieces.

The good thing about keeping them in the water is that i presume that it provides the smaller fish a place to hide from bass predators?

On the other hand, these large branches make it hard to get to the far corners of the pond in my boat. Also it disrupts waves generated by the pond aerator and I noticed that the water in the corners is a lot more brackish and more pond moss in those areas.

Is there benefits to clearing out these large tree branches or should I just leave it be?

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You mention most of the pros and cons of utilizing the large tree branches. There has been published research that the branches do improve the quality of the fishery for both forage and predator. One other pro is the branches are surface area for growing communities of attached algae and associated invertebrates that increase and enhance the productivity of the pond. It is for you to decide weather the branches are to go or stay. Or compromize and decide how many should stay. My only suggestion is to allow some with the large end on shore so they can be more easily removed (draged out) when needed.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/25/19 12:42 PM.

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Bill is right. There are pros/cons. Tree limbs also snag lures, but heck I've been dealing with that most of my life when fresh water fishing. I've considered buying the artificial brush that are more snag-proof. But for now I throw limbs in certain spots and the bait fish seems to love it. I just fish around the edge of the limbs and catch fish. When I lose a lure it's not that big a deal because I mainly fish with a cheap H&H spinner bait, top-water baits, or a plastic fluke.


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Leaves on the tree limbs would be my only issue. Bare limbs add less dead material to your pond. I quit using hay forks to move limbs around, and started dragging them instead. That removes a lot of the leaves.


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Platon20 -

I have a farm with all my ponds surrounded by forest. I've found it very beneficial to the yoy, predators, my back etc to just drop the tree(s) into the pond. For esthetics I cut the limbs that may be above water level off at or just below the water level.

This is I dropped into the pond '19 when I cleared the view to the pond. IT was leaning 20d over the pond so no way to pull it back - so SPLASH!
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

tree with the limbs I wanted to cut off - I thought the log would be a turtle sunning spa - nope, geese and wood ducks love it thou...
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Another tree I cut late this winter - based on how well the first one was used I decided to drop this one in as well.
[Linked Image from forums.pondboss.com]

Used above and below...
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Current - it sank thru the ice as it melted and settled - about 18' deep there. I'll take the Kayak out and trim the little branches off a couple inches below the the water level.
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Good luck - A pond does not equal a pool... wink

Last edited by Stressless; 07/08/21 11:03 AM.

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Figure 8 Pond - 1.25 acre, 15'
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Awesome pictures and a beautiful pond you have there. I think the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to adding trees/brush to a pond, especially a smaller pond where you can leave the thicker part of the tree towards the shore and remove it if you want to replace it down the road. The fish, both predators and prey, will use the crap out of it, and like others have said, it adds more surface area for algae and other stuff to grow which will in turn be more beneficial to your pond.


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Thanks for the post. I'm planting in and around my new pond and have a newly dead tree that needs to be dropped. This gives me some ideas.

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The only issues with this are hangups & breakoffs of larger fish. That said, overall downed trees are a plus, especially if they reach depths of six feet or more. Last time I got a fishery biologist to look at my place, he said I could really improve the fishery by felling ten more trees into the water.


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I seem to think they are a huge benefit, I do know the lack of cover is detrimental to the proliferation of baitfish which in turn will decrease size in predator fish, I used to have a pond to fish in that the owner didn't like the looks of trees showing and also there weren't any trees around close to the pond, then he had a fellow come in with a long reach trackhoe and dig out the entire perimeter of the pond as far as he could reach, 60+ ft, thereby eliminating all cover for yoy, the fishing went south fast.


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Just make sure they aren’t green oak. Tanins will, depending on amount, kill everything. Been there, done that.


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.

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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson1
Just make sure they aren’t green oak. Tanins will, depending on amount, kill everything. Been there, done that.

Are dry oak stumps and leaves ok? Any other trees to be concerned with?

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Dry OK, I'd try to avoid the leaves even if dry.

Black Walnut is another one to avoid. It has a poison that is toxic to fish. At least in the hull of the walnuts........


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Thank you

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Esshup is right Dry should be ok. But, it would have to be damn sure dry. I had to buy a pump to de water the entire pond after a total fish kill. Then use a tractor with a front end loader and blade to remove affected soil. Not sure that was necessary, but did it anyway. 2 to 3 acres.

To test, cut a piece of the wood. Put it in a container of water. Add minnows or bluegills or? If the fish do ok, it SHOULD be safe to stock.

Best to just avoid oaks.

This was about 25 to 30 years ago.


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

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