gardengimp - dianne - question for you!

bagsmom(7)July 7, 2011

Hey -- I saw your beautiful pond in your reply to toronto girl.

Can I ask how long you've had your pond? I notice it is by some fairly large trees. I'm in the contemplating-a-pond stage and have been hesitant to dig -- worried that cutting the tree roots may eventually kill the trees.

If you had to cut roots and have had the pond a while, it will make me feel more comfortable about digging a pond myself.


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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Hi Mom!

I'll apologize in advance for the confusing answer ....

I've only had the functioning pond for 4 months. And, I just finished expanding it. Yeah, a few mistakes.

However, I dug out the initial hole 18 months before I filled it up with water. You see, it's this long story. That involved plans around an above ground system that we both liked. After getting the ground and electrical ready we went back to purchase it and the company was out of business.

So then, I decided to dig the hole deeper and make our own fountain in a small pond following an online guide at Lowes. Got down about 12" and hit a very old oak stump. Tried digging around it, but it was also very big. So we had to have a stump grinder come out to dig it out. Then we couldn't find anything we could agree on.

Still with me?

Because of all the tree roots, we could not use a preform. I dug it out digging around the major root systems. I did cut out lots of small feeder roots. If you look at the photo again, you can see that on the far side of the tree's is all open. That is the east side. I'll leave that ground for the trees. I do have several plants along the edges, many are in pots or are annuals with shallow root systems.

We recently had to have an arborist come out to look at some of our other oaks, and I had him look at the oak on the left. It is decaying in the trunk and he said nothing other than taking some weight out of the top of the tree could help it, and my digging around wouldn't really hurt it. Just to make sure that I leave more open ground than I take, and to allow the root suckers to grow some and nourish the big tree.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is if you are willing to dig around the big roots, and take only a portion of the drip line from the tree, then go for it. I ended up with a bunch of funky creases in the liner, because of the depth changes and the wiggling and waggling.

I would have liked to have done a combination of digging a hole and elevating the sides. Which if I didn't have to deal with the sidewalk could have easily be done with concrete block. I do have some crazy ideas about taking out part of the sidewalk, replacing it with with a wooded bridge, and extending the pond under and over to the other side. But .... that's just dreaming right now :)

See the white bird feeder in this picture? It is sitting on part of the ground that was dug out about 6 feet deep by about 12 feet long and 6 feet wide five years ago to replace our drain field. Those oak trees haven't been bothered by it. But again, we are gentle with the planting we do underneath them. Hmm, this shows all the oaks a bit better.

OK, I've probably rambled enough. Now I'll see if this embed a video thing works ....

- doesn't look like it worked. Oh well, it's not much but link below


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Thanks! That's very helpful! It sounds like you did what I am planning to do.... dig carefully and let the tree roots dictate the shape of the pond (to a degree.)

I asked about this on the tree forum, and most folks over there were almost militant about not cutting tree roots. (And that's not a criticism -- I'm a bit of a tree hugger myself!) But I am encouraged to see that there are ponders out there who have been able to successfully work around the trees without harming them!

OK -- gotta get the day going! Thanks again!!!!!!!!

PS -- anyone else reading this who has thoughts or experience to share, please do!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 7:48AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Holy cow is that THREE herons on your lawn in that last picture????

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 7:33PM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Three yes, but Florida Sandhill Crane. That was last fall. They have a new family member this year and now the pack is 4. The baby was very cute. I'm in Central Florida, surrounded by natural lakes, rivers, ponds and lots of man made retention ponds. Makes for interesting bird watching.


Here is a link that might be useful: Florida Sandhill Crane

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:40PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I bet it does make for interesting bird watching. :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 1:35PM
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