This is one of the biggest myths surrounding water gardening today. Most books say a pond needs a minimum of 4-6 hours of sunlight a day for aquatic plants to live. They discourage building a pond in a shady area.
The truth is that aquatic plants do bloom more and flourish better in high sunlight conditions. This is not debatable. What is debatable is how well aquatic plants can do in low light conditions.
Obviously water is a magnet for wind-blown debris. Placing a pond beneath a tree only adds to the debris falling into the water. But this is why skimmers were invented!
Skimmers are made to handle foliage falling into a pond. Leaves that drop into the pond in late fall do not, because of the sheer numbers, all make it into the skimmer. As long as most of the debris is collected for you, surrounding trees do not prevent you from having a successful pond.
People also worry that tree roots will penetrate a pond’s liner and cause a leak and drastically disturbing a tree’s root structure can damage or even kill some trees. Yes it’s true that a tree root is powerful enough to buckle a driveway or crack a sidewalk, yet they do not pierce a rubber liner. The reason for this is simple. A tree root is programmed to hone in on moisture. A pond has lots of water but (fortunately for the pond owners), a tree doesn’t know that. Roots simply traverse the surrounding soil beneath a pond instead of going through a watertight barrier.
Ideally, the best idea is to build the pond outside a tree’s drip zone. A pond is usually 2 ft. deep and if it’s located near a tree, you will most likely encounter roots from the tree that, if removed, can severely harm the tree. Not to mention the additional labor in digging out all the roots. For most trees, removing some of their roots and putting a pond over the top of them is not going to kill them but you should always take into consideration the type of tree you’re working with. For example, a silver maple is a lot more adaptable than a 100 year old oak.
A naturally wooded lot does pose some design problems, however the aesthetic advantages that surrounding trees add to the setting of the pond make them advantageous to the overall look of the pond.
Our experienced design consultants will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have about building a pond near an existing tree. Contact us today to request your Design Consultation.