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Tree survival during pond construction
#280536 02/11/12 09:13 PM
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I am in the process of planning a pond. On one side I'm planning on having a thirty foot wide peninsula with a 3' diameter native pecan located in the center of the point. The land already has this general shape.

My question is: how much undisturbed land would be required if I decided to make this raised point into an island instead of a point? I realize the feeder roots extend beyond the drip line of the tree, but we've all seen pecans growing right on the edge of river banks. Is there a general rule of thumb for how much of the root system can be lost and still expect the tree to live?

Any thoughts or experience in this area appreciated.

Danny Frazier

I do subscribe!

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
polevaulter1977 #280559 02/12/12 07:16 AM
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My guess is that it will depend on how drastically the moisture/aerobic condistions change in the root zone, and how quickly these changes occur. It appears that pecans like well drained soil, so the tree will need to have quite a bit of free board.

http://www.uaex.edu/miller/H&G/Pecans/establishment_maintenance.htm

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
RAH #280596 02/12/12 03:44 PM
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It is a living organism so that makes any assumptions just that. You always run the risk by any disturbance whatsoever. With that in mind there are precautionary measures to take to minimize those risks. Number one that causes mortality to trees during any type of construction phase is compaction. Minimize compaction by not allowing any heavy machinery within ten feet of the drip line of the tree. If you must have the machinery within the perimeter place ten inches of mulch on the drip line to decrease compaction. Second is the health of the tree going into the construction phase, ie... is the tree in a stress phase do to drought, or in a recovery phase from insect or disease. We commonly fertilize trees within the construction zone at least 2 months prior to construction. As far as how much of the root zone can be removed depends on the size and health of the tree. Typically larger trees we dig for resale will lose up to half of their roots during the digging process. obviously the larger the tree the more detrimental this is to the recovery of the tree and the maintenance required after the tree is replanted. If you must dig into the tree roots fertilize the tree prior to the digging. Digging after the tree is dormant will definitely increase survival chances. After digging go around and prune the roots to establish clean cuts. Do not leave root ends exposed to the elements any longer than you have to. Time is of the essence. After root pruning, add good organic topsoil to cover the damaged roots then water in with good root stimulator at least once a month. Do not compact soil you place over roots with machinery. Lastly prune at least 20 percent of the tree above the ground to make up for some of the root loss. Water the tree as needed using root stimulator and just as the leaves are breaking bud fertilize once with good quality fertilizer. Dont forget to continue watering in the heat of the summer. This is when the tree will be the most vulnerable. Also be vigilant for any secondary pest arrising from the trees stress and treat accordingly.

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
ozarkstriperscom #280598 02/12/12 04:21 PM
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I personally would just take out the tree and plant more after the pond was built but that may be hard to for some.

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
jludwig #280603 02/12/12 06:03 PM
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Seems like Ozarkstriper knows his stuff. Since he advises no compaction within ten feet of the drip line, it's probably because roots occupy that area, and I'd leave more than that to allow for future growth. That's if the tree bears a good pecan or if you like the nut it bears.

I've read that seedling trees are more tolerant of wet conditions than grafted trees, but a seedling tree is unlikely to yield a pecan like the one you plant. Rarely, a seedling tree will bear a nut better than the nut you planted, but usually it's not as good.

Should you decide to remove the tree and plant cultivars of your choosing, your county agent would be an excellent source of information.

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
Dudley Landry #280604 02/12/12 06:18 PM
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Some trees don't like their roots to be constantly wet from nearby lakes. Check to see if that applies to Pecans. We have lost a bunch of hardwoods that get wet sometimes but mostly dry because the roots don't like the wet from the pond. The water is in some cases 50 feet from the tree's drip line and still they died.
















Re: Tree survival during pond construction
ewest #280619 02/12/12 08:00 PM
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Wow! That is some good info. Ozarkstripper brought up a couple of things I hadn't thought about. He seems to be on the top of his game. I think I could pull it off using his ideas, but I may for the first year leave it just as a long narrow point. The pecan is a large tree and I can see picnic tables under it with a couple of swings hanging from its long graceful limbs. I always liked the idea of having an arched bridge spanning to an island, but I think I'll put that idea in my back pocket.

This forum is great and I certainly appreciate all who replied.

I've had my site Okied. Should get started in a couple of weeks, weather permitting. I'll post pics as things get rolling. Okie (in Oklahoma) is a term used to have all utilities check site before digging.

Danny

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
polevaulter1977 #280629 02/12/12 09:39 PM
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Danny, a few islands in your pond is a good idea. Some bird species like to hang around islands because there they are more isolated from predators. A few hills in my pond became islands recently when the water level dropped and about 600 black-bellied whistling ducks found safety on them for about a month. Surely was a pleasure to see.

Eric, I've read that pecan, being a tree of bottomlands, is more tolerant of wet conditions than many other hardwoods. This seems to be more true for seedling pecans than grafted trees. A few years ago I planted a few grafted varieties and managed to get a few pecans before the squirrels did. Knowing that my isolated trees could only cross-pollinate among themselves, I planted the pecans in a low area. we'll see how the trees develop as time goes by, and know about nut quality and quantity in ten or so years. Yep, yer right, but I'm an optimist and I'm betting that I get to taste those pecans.

I know what you mean about pond water not stopping at the pond bank. Last week I dug a hole to plant a citrus tree about thirty feet from the pond and when I reached the level of the pond water, there was water in the hole. I suppose that the permeability of the soil would govern the area that would be affected.

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
Dudley Landry #281577 02/21/12 05:33 PM
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I don't add much but I'll add this, being from pecan plantation land in southern GA. I can tell u this pecan trees have weak limbs and shallow root systems, my house and truck can attest to this. When we get a good soaking rain(not many lately) and high winds we get very nervous around here. My tree fell over on a nice sunny day with no wind, but it was loaded with pecans. Again that could be because the types of soil that they are planted in around here also. My two pennies.


Any type of fishing is good fishing!!

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
IJUSSWANNAFISH #281635 02/22/12 10:18 AM
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I learned this lesson the hard way with my pond. About 1/3 of the pond was dug from forested land. We left many of the mature trees in that area (driveway was moved to cross the dam and go through this area). Heavy equipment was used and was, by necessity, not kept off of the root systems due to the clearing needed. 5 years later 75% of these trees have died and we are still having fatalities every year. At $1000 a pop to professionally fell the trees that could fall on something valuable, I wish I had just bulldozed the entire area and planted anew.

Your tree sounds beautiful and it is worth trying, but in my experience it is a gamble.

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
polevaulter1977 #529730 01/16/21 08:51 PM
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I’m revisiting an old post. Some might be interested in how the pecan tree turned out.
https://share.icloud.com/photos/0fbp4Ss1KsZZyKCna-cs__gRw

Re: Tree survival during pond construction
polevaulter1977 #529732 01/17/21 09:20 AM
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That is a nice looking spot and a beautiful tree. Glad it survived.

1 member likes this: polevaulter1977

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