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What should I do?? - opening up a pond

 
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Hello all, been looking around and love the place!! I've got a question!! Just bought a bunch of land and it hand decent size pond!! I'd like to open it up, what should I do??
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pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Can you explain more what you mean by "open it up"? It's a lovely pond.
 
Ryan Jenkins
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Well there are a bunch of trees and I'd like to be able to see it more. What I've read says you should remove trees from the dam, then others say if they are big, then leave them. Not sure which. Also, there is some viney stuff growing, how can I get rid of that?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Personally I would leave it alone if possible. Is there a site for another pond, which could be more open and maybe overflow into this pond, or catch the overflow from this pond? I'd just hate to mess with something which is so pretty.
 
pollinator
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If by open up you mean clearing the bank and dam of trees so you can access. I would say do so minimally, you can always cut back more but takes years to grow new trees. I am in a similar boat with property I just got with a pond.

You can see that my pond is pretty dense with trees around it's edge. I had difficulty even getting close to the pond most of the time while looking at the land.



Yours looks like it at least has a good portion of one side clear. Which is helpful, but I would suggest you not make it clear around all sides. The shade from trees helps create micro climates for life in the water as well as protecting from areal attack.

My suggestion would be to maybe do a little clearing right next to the waters edge of anything that looks like it has potential to fall in. Maybe a little thinning back of some trees to allow those you leave to grow stronger. but error on the side of thinning less as you can always come back and do more.

*edit to add, the issue of trees on the dam I can't say I have educated knowledge on this, but some common sense is telling me there could be issues with this. Namely if you cut the trees down and the root system rots you will be possibly creating pathways for leaks in the dam. Though common sense is also telling me the tree roots left alone could be helping open pathways for the water to leak. So sort of seems like a catch 22 in many ways. I imagine someone with a bit more direct knowledge on this will be coming along soon to offer tips.
 
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TO: Ryan Jenkins
FROM: Eric Koperek = erickoperek@gmail.com
SUBJECT: "Opening Up a Pond" = earth dam maintenance
DATE: PM 3:46 Sunday 22 May 2016
TEXT:

1. As a general rule trees are not planted on or near earth dams because their roots can penetrate the waterproof clay core and cause leaks or dam failure.

2. If dam does NOT have a clay core or if erosion is a problem then planting trees on dams is a good idea. Tree roots bind soil together much like steel mesh and reinforcing bars = "rebar". The best trees for this purpose have extensive root systems. Willow is a good example. Bamboo is a grass plant often used to reinforce dikes and dams because it has a tough network of surface roots highly resistant to water erosion. Bamboo acts like "geotextile". 1 acre of bamboo has more than 40 MILES of primary roots.

3. Be careful and set traps for muskrats if any set up residence in your dam. Muskrat burrows can seriously weaken earth dams = high chance of dam failure.

4. Clearing out unnecessary trees will let more light into your pond = more phytoplankton = more fish food. Well managed fish ponds should be "pea soup" green. The standard test is to stick your arm into the pond until water reaches your elbow; if you can see your hand pond does not have enough nutrients. If you cannot see your hand pond has enough fertilizer. Grow ducks on your pond and they will fertilize the water for you. Use trash fish = bluegills and sunfish to fertilize garden crops.

5. Pond weeds and algae make excellent mulch and fertilizer. Plant your garden near your pond so you don't have to haul weeds any great distance. If you plant your garden down slope from your pond you can set up a gravity irrigation system. At minimum, all you need is a garden hose to set up a simple siphon.

6. Dutch White Clover = Trifolium repens is often planted on earth dams because it has an extensive surface root system but only grows 6 to 8 inches high. Any low-growing ground cover makes dam maintenance easier = less mowing.

7. Consider installing a solar powered pond aerator to keep down mosquitoes and improve water quality for pond fish. A pond aerator will greatly increase fish survival over winter.

ERIC KOPEREK = erickoperek@gmail.com

end comment


 
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Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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Keep in mind too that having some trees near the water will cut down on evaporation witch could be a problem depending on your climate. The pic you posted looks like a pretty good mix of shaded and open areas, but in the end you're the one who has to live with it so if you want it more "open" then by all means take some of that stuff out and live with it!
 
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More light can equal more heat and less disolved oxygen meaning fish kills in the hottest parts of the year
 
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