Dam Spring Cleaning

March 11th, 2007

The pond’s dam that is!  Such beautiful warm days… perfect for catching up on chores and those outdoor things that have been on the list for some time.  This weekend is being spent cleaning… indoors and out.  Yesterday I finally cut the trees down on the pond dam that I had planned for many months.  Last year I began clearing the dam of 5′ high brush, poison ivy and small saplings.  I can’t remember how many saplings I cut down.  After clearing the brush, I planted grass and kept it cut during the year. 

The slope is so steep I have to use a walk-behind brush mower and wrestle it around the dam.  Not fun, but the result is a nice clean look, with the dam covered in grass.  It’s important to keep the dam covered in grass to prevent erosion, and to keep the trees off so the roots don’t breach the integrity of the dam over time.  The trees I cut down were some type of river willow- more of a nuisance tree that invaded the area.  They spread like crazy and have long roots that run along the surface.  There is some debate over how large of an established tree you should cut down on a dam, but these were probably no more than 8-10 inches in diameter.   I will have to kill the stumps to prevent the trees from sending up sucker shoots again.  But now that all the trees and brush is cut down, I need to clear it.  A good chainsaw does a wonderful job.  The pictures don’t show the total area, but here’s a before picture of one part:

Trees and brush before cutting with chainsaw

And here’s another picture of how it looks when cleared:

After clearing trees and brush from dam

I hope to seed that side of the dam with grass also.  In the background are the native Oak and Eastern Red Cedar trees.  I have also been planting other native tree and shrub species such as Dogwood, Serviceberry and Wild Plum throughout the woodlands.  The Missouri Department of Conservation will send many native shrubs and trees for planting at minimal cost.  These are desirable native species that provides improved habitat for birds and wildlife.

I also took a quick picture yesterday of the Koi I stocked in the pond last year!  These were about 8 inches long as of July ’06, and they have grown to at least 12-15 inches long.  I stocked three- and they all made it through the winter!  It’s hard to see, but two are orange and one is black and white with orange tips on the fins.  They swim around the pond together, eating algae and sifting the mud and bottom matter on the pond.  I doubt they will breed successfully, but we’ll see.  They are nice to look at as they swim lazily around the pond.

Three Koi in Pond

2 Responses to “Dam Spring Cleaning”

  1. Great work, Amazing how nice it looks!

  2. […] a couple hours clearing logs and tree branches (left over from some trees cut down last Fall  in March), it was time for the walk-behind brush cutting […]

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