Tree Growing into Pond


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Hi - I built this pond 27 years ago myself and just rebuilt it in 2012. Upgraded from 500 gallons to 2000 with a major filtration change over the years. It's a dedicated koi pond and I have a 35 year old weeping European beech that I've cut back over the years as an umbrella. Problem is, as small as I've kept it, I couldn't stop the trunk from getting thick. Funny, or not so funny, but years back it was about 2 ft from the line, now the liner is bulging from the root system. It appears at some point, it's going to break through.

So, my options are limited. Cutting the tree at the base isn't an option. My other labor costly thought is taking the rock, liner and main drain out. Having the pond dug out 2 feet more in the front and gain 2 feet in the rear by the Beech tree, maybe even sliding a fiberglass sheet or something inert to block the future roots. My savio skimmer can probably remain untouched and just make the shape irregular working around skimmer and electrical.
A new liner, storing fish overnight, saving 500 gallons of water, new main drain and re-rocking pond with all existing rocks seems like a project but we built this in 2 days so should be able to easily do it again as filtration is all in place behind trees hidden. Really concerned about the Koi.

I'm on Long Island, NY on the south shore. Looking for someone with major expertise as I have 10 Koi, mostly 2 footers, some less and don't want to lose any.

Any thoughts. So much appreciated. Thanks all


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addy1

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According to this write up, disturbing it roots might kill it.

Beech has a very shallow root system and is very intolerant of site changes. Beeches on new developments usually decline and die unless precautions are made to prevent soil disturbance beneath their crown




According to this write up the roots won't try to go through the liner.



Beech have surface rooting tendancies, but nowhere near as bad as willow.

There is some problem with foundations and clay soils in that they are dynamic ith the wet/dry cycle. You've probably seen this with the cracks in the lawn when in drought season.

As stated above the construction of the foundation means more then the tree. If the backfill is sand or gravel then there is little worry of the roots exacerbating the soil movement of the wet/dry cycle. If they backfilled with just cay, then there can be some added stress to the structure.

As for actual damage by roots them selves, one must look at how trees grow; adding a thin layer of cells under the bark layer to add another "cylinder" to the stem, branch or root.

If there is a rock, fence or wall that that root grows against, then it will form around it vs moving it. If there are defects in the structure then the root can take advantage of them, but they need to be severe.

The there are the limiting factors involved with root propigation. Water is the most obviouse, but free oxygen is the biggest. So if we have a well compacted base and seemless slab, then the root's not going to grow under it due to the lack of O2. If the base was not preped properly and the slab cracked then roots may get in and take advantage of the room to grow, and maybe cause the cracks to propigate.

This has been shown with city sidwalks, where there is marked increase of roots under the seams and cracks as aposed to the solid areas.

Another good example is how trees grown down to cracked and old-clay sewer tile. you have a plumb of nutrien rich, aerated water coming up into which the tree root grows. If it were not for the seams and cracks, the rotots would never grow down into unaerated soil.
 
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According to this write up, disturbing it roots might kill it.

Beech has a very shallow root system and is very intolerant of site changes. Beeches on new developments usually decline and die unless precautions are made to prevent soil disturbance beneath their crown




According to this write up the roots won't try to go through the liner.



Beech have surface rooting tendancies, but nowhere near as bad as willow.

There is some problem with foundations and clay soils in that they are dynamic ith the wet/dry cycle. You've probably seen this with the cracks in the lawn when in drought season.

As stated above the construction of the foundation means more then the tree. If the backfill is sand or gravel then there is little worry of the roots exacerbating the soil movement of the wet/dry cycle. If they backfilled with just cay, then there can be some added stress to the structure.

As for actual damage by roots them selves, one must look at how trees grow; adding a thin layer of cells under the bark layer to add another "cylinder" to the stem, branch or root.

If there is a rock, fence or wall that that root grows against, then it will form around it vs moving it. If there are defects in the structure then the root can take advantage of them, but they need to be severe.

The there are the limiting factors involved with root propigation. Water is the most obviouse, but free oxygen is the biggest. So if we have a well compacted base and seemless slab, then the root's not going to grow under it due to the lack of O2. If the base was not preped properly and the slab cracked then roots may get in and take advantage of the room to grow, and maybe cause the cracks to propigate.

This has been shown with city sidwalks, where there is marked increase of roots under the seams and cracks as aposed to the solid areas.

Another good example is how trees grown down to cracked and old-clay sewer tile. you have a plumb of nutrien rich, aerated water coming up into which the tree root grows. If it were not for the seams and cracks, the rotots would never grow down into unaerated soil.
Hi Addy - Thanks for that. Nothing will kill the tree as it's well established for 35 years though I've kept it cut as an umbrella. Not sure if you misunderstood but I have no intention of moving the tree. It couldn't be done. I was talking about rebuilding the pool itself in most part about 2 foot away from the pond but keep it the same size but cutting the pond 2 ft closer to my porch/pool area.
 

addy1

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I did see you were not moving it. Per what I think it was saying is disturbance of the roots can cause a planted tree issues. But also saying if there is no o2 i.e. solid liner, the roots don't head there.
 
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Beautiful tree and I understand your concerns. If the information @addy1 is correct, the tree and it's roots, may just continue to grow around the pond without going through the liner.

I would be concerned as the tree grows, it will displace and liner and possibly divert water from your pond. If it were my pond I'd consult an arborist . If the arborist advises moving the pond, I'd try to do it before winter.
 
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Beautiful tree and I understand your concerns. If the information @addy1 is correct, the tree and it's roots, may just continue to grow around the pond without going through the liner.

I would be concerned as the tree grows, it will displace and liner and possibly divert water from your pond. If it were my pond I'd consult an arborist . If the arborist advises moving the pond, I'd try to do it before winter.
Thanks as I never considered an arborist but only an educated experience pond person. I've taken horticulture at a local college in the 80's. I've also been ponding 27-28 years. My own experience tells me that even if the roots continue around the 40mil liner, the trunk is starting to impinge on the rocks, pushing them closer and eventually into the pond. Seems like keeping that Beech is going to be a partial rebuild. Kind of displeasing and a costly project to boot. Pond is all so perfect but before I wake up to that dream I had years ago with all the koi flopping around at the bottom from a water leak, I'd like to do what it takes. Back in 2011 during Sandy, I lost 8 out of 10 Koi in my old 500 gallon pond. Didn't quite like the feeling seeing 8 floating beauties, some 20 years old. I had to put that in perspective as to what people had gone through losing lives and homes in our area.
I'll talk to someone in the tree business and Tuesday look for pond builders and their ratings in the area. That'll be harder than the project. Thanks so much ...
 
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I like it as is. I would put some rocks around the back side of the tree and 'tie' it into the pond. Looks cool in my opinion.
 
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I live in the Cincinnati area and we don't have many options for pond supplies and builders. Recently one of my pumps died and I was surprised when I visited our local fish hatchery to buy a pump, they had little inventory. They told me they're phasing out a lot of home garden pond equipment due to low interest :( I then turned to a long standing water garden nursery and fishery in Dayton, OH, only to learn they'd closed down their facility this summer and are strictly online now :(
 
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I like it as is. I would put some rocks around the back side of the tree and 'tie' it into the pond. Looks cool in my opinion.
I agree, it's very cool looking. It would be wonderful if it could be left as is, but I'd want to make sure the trunk of the tree doesn't push the liner and divert water from the pond.
 
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That is a beautiful pond and the last thing I would do is disturb it unless it was absolutely necessary.

Have you tried wading or feeling down the side of the pond liner to see if there is a real concern of root intrusion? There may be a good chance that the pressure from the water against the liner has influenced the direction that the roots have grown. You may not have a problem after all.
 
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I like it as is. I would put some rocks around the back side of the tree and 'tie' it into the pond. Looks cool in my opinion.

@Stephen Noble @Tula @gwbasley - Thanks all! I would say I'm some years off from water diversion. Yes, I did feel down as far as my arm would go, about 2-1/2 - 3ft. Basically, I feel all the roots as they hit the liner and bulge it a bit, then just turn off to the sides as the 40 mil plus water pressure seem to ward them off. The trunk is still about 16" from the actual liner and the liner is visible up around the trunk base. So, basically, it's all good in that sense but it won't last forever ( neither will I for that matter lol ) ... I can't really tie it into the pond with rocks in back i don't believe but would have to visualize if that were even an option. My main concern is, are those roots going to pop the liner and surprise me at some point and should i jump on this before it jumps on me :) ? ...
 
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I feel all the roots as they hit the liner and bulge it a bit, then just turn off to the sides
Since the tree is that close, the roots have already hit the liner and turned years ago.

The root zone is this, per the net:

The root zone extends well beyond the edges of the branches. As a general guideline, the root zone covers a distance two to four times beyond the distance of the tree's canopy.
 
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maybe even sliding a fiberglass sheet or something inert to block the future roots
i would use azek it's basicaly recycled papaer bags impregnated with LIQUID PLASTICS FROM WATER AND MILK JUGS
 
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i would use azek it's basicaly recycled papaer bags impregnated with LIQUID PLASTICS FROM WATER AND MILK JUGS
Not that easy as you can't just slip something down there. the liner would have to be changed most likely which means stone removal. Stones go well below water surface. Azek is great on a house for trim etc but below the ground it just might decompose, possibly unlike something more inert. But that is what would have to be done if it's needed. I'm looking into it. Thx
 
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You'll need to add a root barrier between the tree roots and the pond. That means digging out between the two. Beech have shallow roots, so a 2 foot root barrier may do the trick, but a 3' one would be a safer bet. Doing a pruning type install on a tree that close to the pond will likely shock it very badly, so this means moving your pond out quite a long way if you truly want to save the tree (I'm not sure 2 feet would be enough). Might be better to just let it go and take a "wait and see" approach. The roots might never penetrate the liner. I doubt it would happen in a fantastic rupture type event, where all the water drains out overnight. Just so long as you check the water level daily so you catch any leaks quickly, I don't think it will result in that nightmare scenario happening. Especially since the roots will slowly push the bottom up where they are, making a deeper end on the side away from the tree where fish can go if a leak ever occurs.
For tree barriers, you need a solid type, not a simple flexible "bamboo barrier". It's going to have to be rigid. DeepRoot makes the best root barriers, see https://www.deeproot.com/products/root-barrier.html and https://www.amazon.com/DeepRoot-UB-24-2AMZ-Barrier-Black/dp/B01CXQGFYI/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp. You will need to connect as many as you need to make a wide enough barrier to protect that entire side of the pond. This will force the roots to either go deeper, or grow more away from the pond, under the fence in the background. Depending on what's on the other side of that fence, that might not be preferable.
 
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You'll need to add a root barrier between the tree roots and the pond. That means digging out between the two. Beech have shallow roots, so a 2 foot root barrier may do the trick, but a 3' one would be a safer bet. Doing a pruning type install on a tree that close to the pond will likely shock it very badly, so this means moving your pond out quite a long way if you truly want to save the tree (I'm not sure 2 feet would be enough). Might be better to just let it go and take a "wait and see" approach. The roots might never penetrate the liner. I doubt it would happen in a fantastic rupture type event, where all the water drains out overnight. Just so long as you check the water level daily so you catch any leaks quickly, I don't think it will result in that nightmare scenario happening. Especially since the roots will slowly push the bottom up where they are, making a deeper end on the side away from the tree where fish can go if a leak ever occurs.
For tree barriers, you need a solid type, not a simple flexible "bamboo barrier". It's going to have to be rigid. DeepRoot makes the best root barriers, see https://www.deeproot.com/products/root-barrier.html and https://www.amazon.com/DeepRoot-UB-24-2AMZ-Barrier-Black/dp/B01CXQGFYI/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp. You will need to connect as many as you need to make a wide enough barrier to protect that entire side of the pond. This will force the roots to either go deeper, or grow more away from the pond, under the fence in the background. Depending on what's on the other side of that fence, that might not be preferable.
 
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You'll need to add a root barrier between the tree roots and the pond. That means digging out between the two. Beech have shallow roots, so a 2 foot root barrier may do the trick, but a 3' one would be a safer bet. Doing a pruning type install on a tree that close to the pond will likely shock it very badly, so this means moving your pond out quite a long way if you truly want to save the tree (I'm not sure 2 feet would be enough). Might be better to just let it go and take a "wait and see" approach. The roots might never penetrate the liner. I doubt it would happen in a fantastic rupture type event, where all the water drains out overnight. Just so long as you check the water level daily so you catch any leaks quickly, I don't think it will result in that nightmare scenario happening. Especially since the roots will slowly push the bottom up where they are, making a deeper end on the side away from the tree where fish can go if a leak ever occurs.
For tree barriers, you need a solid type, not a simple flexible "bamboo barrier". It's going to have to be rigid. DeepRoot makes the best root barriers, see https://www.deeproot.com/products/root-barrier.html and https://www.amazon.com/DeepRoot-UB-24-2AMZ-Barrier-Black/dp/B01CXQGFYI/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp. You will need to connect as many as you need to make a wide enough barrier to protect that entire side of the pond. This will force the roots to either go deeper, or grow more away from the pond, under the fence in the background. Depending on what's on the other side of that fence, that might not be preferable.
Hi Phaewryn - I was already thinking of the wait and see approach. When we redid the pond in 2012, the roots were hardly visible as close as the tree was and contained by the previous liner. I haven't much room to play with if I re-do this but I can move another 2ft giving me almost 3-1/2' at that point. If I go with the root barrier, I'd have to go down 3' and probably 5' in width. That was a thought as the waterfall and only part of the pond would get disturbed and the koi could remain in the pond assuming I didn't replace the whole line. Either way, it's a large project and I'll wait until next year as I don't have the time to even look for someone around here who has that expertise. I redid this twice in 28 years going from 500 gallons and a vegetable gravity fed filter to 2000 gallons and all high tech. taking this apart irks me but I will do something early next spring, maybe March. I wasn't familiar with DeepRoot. Sounds like a plan. I'll read up and thank you for the link. I like the barrier the best. Thx again!
 
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