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You’ve got this perfect place in your yard with the beautiful shade tree and you are thinking that the only thing that can make this spot better when it’s 105 degrees is putting in a really nice water garden. You can sit out there next to the waterfall in the shade of your tree and it is going to feel so much cooler than anywhere else on your yard. It will be beautiful, it will be great, it will be fantastic, but there’s just two problems. Number one, and unfortunately I know of these from experience because I thought the same thing once. I put in a nice pond under a beautiful big maple tree and ran into some issues – let me tell you what those were.

Number one, I would run into cutting up roots. It is amazing how far away from the trunk of the tree there are large top roots for your tree. The drip on of your tree, that edge where the farther extensions of the leaves, what if it rained that’s where the water would drip. That’s where the trees pick up the most of their moisture, so that’s where they have a lot of the roots. So if you are putting your pond in underneath the leaves you are going to be cutting up a lot of roots and you could probably get away with cutting a few. But if you cut up too many, you are going to harm your tree and having the tree fall over right on top of your pond kind of  defeats the purpose and it is going to destroy your pond, and that kind of runs the whole thing for you. So you have to be careful with cutting the roots of your tree. And if you do put your pond next to the tree, you have to worry about the leaves.

You can have a lot problems with leaves falling in your pond. They are going to clog up your skimmers. If they get to the bottom of the pond, they are going to start building up layers and layers and they will start to rot, and that’s bad news because that’s going to grow some bad bacteria that’s going to hurt your fish, andyou are going to have a lot of hydrogen sulfide gas that’s going to be coming out of that gas bubbles. And as they breakup through that sediment, the bubbles will burst when they hit the surface, and they are going to release that toxic gas, and that’s bad for you. It is going to smell like rotting eggs and it is also bad for you fish. It is basically kind of almost like that flesh eating bacteria (the fish version). It is bad news, so we don’t want that. So we have to do a couple things if you have already done it or if you are forced to put a pond next to a tree, you are going to want to use a skimmer if it’s all possible and be sure during the fall that you check that skimmer a lot, because it will fill up with leaves very quickly.

The other thing you can do is do a lot of netting. As the leaves float, they are going to float for a while, skim them, and get them out of there before they drop to the bottom. And if they do get to the bottom you are going to have to get a net that has a good sharp surface (not rounded) that will  scoop from the bottom of your pond, which is another reason not to have rocks in the bottom of your pond. And of course, put that net up and keep leaves from getting into a pond by adding some netting. Having netting over the top of the pond will keep those leaves from getting in the pond and causing you problems. So these are some issues to keep in mind if you have a shaded pond. It can be really nice and it will work out if you can save the tree and you can find a way to way keep those leaves out of your pond.

Sitting in the shade next to your pond – sound great. But, if you kill the tree destroying it’s roots, have tree roots puncture your liner, or get swamped with leaves you pond can quickly have major problems. Some tips on how to protect your pond.

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