Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fall Woodlot Report Part 3: Evaluating the pond

Having the pond on the middle of a forested area has been an interesting learning experience. Trees bring all sorts of extra issues to a pond. They can die when flooded, they drop leaves that make muck in the pond bottom, they reseed all over the pond shore, and they are attractive to beavers. A beaver has set up a homestead on the pond. All that great timber to chew on and a nice convenient pond to live in has inticed one to stay. I had passers through before, but they left when they could not keep the pond level stable. It has been stable for over a year now and this beaver has not left, I think. It has built a den (see photo), tried to bulldoze mud into the overflow pipe, and who knows what other damage I am going to find. Luckily the den is not in the dam; so no tunnels have been found yet that might undeermine it. A conibear trap is in order I believe to get rid of the nuisance.

Trees can be a problem around a pond. I have a large dead area that floods to much and will need more flood tolerant trees like bald cypress and tupelos. These areas also make a nice wetland zone between the seasonal creek and the pond. Sediment is trapped in this area and extends the life of the pond. Leaves from the trees can build up in the pond as well creating a 'pond muck'. It is an anearobic sediment of rotting vegetable matter. I have researched aerators and microbes to act against it. The microbes are more in line with my budget and I may try some next year to get the eradication process started. The microbes you add are the same as the ones added to septic systems. They work anearobically to break down the plant matter. Aeration is quicker, more expensive, and needs elctricity usually. Finally, the trees around the pond make plenty of seeds to sprout around the pond. Usually trees on a dam are bad, but I have been told mine is fine by an expert dam consultant. My issue now is they block access and views. I hope to clear some out completely and clear brush/prune under others to make fishing and viewing spots. Willows and buttonbush are another concern of mine. They can take over the shoreline quickly. I will be using an appropriate herbicide on any I find. These grow very close and in the water; so a proper herbicide for around water is needed to prevent damage to the pond itself. My next post will be on the TSI work I am doing salvaging dead trees and cutting culls to make construction wood with the sawmill for projects on the property.

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