Pond Trees

Dear Frog,
I am back on the road this season. Wonderful!!  I am visiting hamlets of heaven: back yard ponds. One of the major problems of most man-made ponds is a lack of a canopy. All natural waterways and ponds have trees and shrubs next to their shores. More specifically, they have hydrophilic plants that seek moister. Trees have a lot to offer to a pond. Sunlight is the major source of energy entering a pond. Blocking the sun reduces the temperature and because weeds use sunlight, they are reduced too. Additionally, when a tree dies, the log falls into the pond and decomposes. In doing so, thousands of species feast on the wood providing the basis of the food chain.

To determine what kinds of trees and shrubs to use, you should go identify “what is”. Go look at the waterways in your area and find out. You will need an identifier book but they are available everywhere. Trees such as willow offer cuttings that are easily rooted. Fast growing trees such as poplar offer shade within a few years. And there is nothing more dramatic than a row of white alder. Bamboo can be use but requires caution as many species are highly invasive.

When trees grow, they form cellulose. Cellulose requires a lot of energy to form and therefore these nutrients are removed from the pond. Reducing the sunlight and nutrients in the pond limits growth in the pond, ergo, no weeds.

I am often asked, “What happens to the leaves falling into the pond?” They are a part of the carbon cycle of a tree and decompose. If they did not, the entire planet would be covered. The idea in gaining pond health is to achieve a balance using the woody substrate of the pond to support the animal life in the pond.

Froggy, there is nothing nicer than sitting under a huge maple tree on a hot day contemplating a pool of water. Ah, summer…

PonDoc   from the pond


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