Garden Ponds And Trees: Four Hazards To Consider

Posted on: 1 June 2015

A pond can add tranquillity to any space, and, if you add the right plants and foliage, you can also attract a lot of indigenous wildlife. To create the best water features in your garden, it's important to choose the right spot, particularly if you have well-established trees or shrubs. Trees can create a serious headache for gardeners, particularly when it comes to garden ponds. Find out why most gardeners keep their ponds well away from trees, and learn more about the problems you may face.

Falling debris

Debris from trees and shrubs is a particular challenge in ponds, particularly if you have deciduous varieties in your garden. Leaves and branches dropping into the water can cause problems for your fish and water plants, and even coniferous varieties can drop their needles and seeds. What's more, animals and birds in the trees can also drop nuts and other debris into the water.

Unless you skim the pond daily, debris from trees can quickly build up on the bottom of your pond. This layer of debris eventually stops oxygen getting to the bottom, which, in turn, allows hydrogen sulfide to build up. This harmful gas will quickly kill fish, and will also leave you with slimy, smelly muck to deal with.

Damage to your lining from tree roots

The root system of any tree varies in size, and a healthy specimen relies on the right soil and moisture conditions. In most cases, tree roots sit in the top 6 to 24 inches of the soil, occupying an area that's up to four times the size of the canopy. That aside, the type of soil and the tree species can influence the size of the root system, and an established plant could become intrusive within a considerable distance of the trunk.

As such, tree roots can sometimes damage the lining of your pond, particularly if you have clay soil in your garden. In this instance, it could take a lot of time and effort to drain the pond, remove the contents and repair the lining. While you can invest in stronger, thicker lining to protect the pond, most gardeners would rather just keep the water feature away from a tree's root system.

Water consumption

Some tree species thrive in wet conditions. For example, some willow trees can suck up as much as much as 0.22 inches of water per day. As such, these trees' roots will actively seek new sources of water, which could present problems for the water level in your pond.

Willow roots will explore filter systems, waterfalls and underground pipes that can yield a good source of water. These roots can quickly interfere with these devices. Roots will also sometimes clog drains, leaving you with an expensive repair bill. While willow trees offer a great visual feature in the garden, if you only want to install a small pond, these species could quickly cause serious issues.

Tree damage during pond installation

It isn't always the case that a tree presents a threat to your pond. In some cases, the situation exists in reverse, particularly when you first install your pond. To create the space you need, you'll need to excavate the area, and a larger water feature merits a bigger, deeper hole.

When you're excavating for a new pond, you can inadvertently damage the root system of a nearby tree. To make matters worse, you won't always know about the problem for some time. Indeed, a tree may seem healthy for several years, but you can then face the issue of a dead/dying tree in your garden.

Garden ponds and trees don't always mix very well. Before you install your next water feature, carefully consider if your pond and trees can easily live in harmony. If your trees have already damaged your pond or its pump, you should contact a pump repair company to fix the issue and work with landscapers to avoid the problem in the future. Visit to learn more.