Pond overflow and berm

bjseiler

Yearling... With promise
Location
Northern Indiana
#1
I have a 12 acre lake that is fed by both springs and the surrounding wetland runs into it. Water level stays shockingly consistent. Even at the end of last summer's draught maybe it receded a foot or so. Water flows out of the lake and into a ditch that runs next to a highway. "Flows" is really more of a steady trickle but the dampness caused in that corner has meant no trees will grow. It is a bit of an eyesore to have this beautiful lake and forest but then a corner of it is cars screaming back and forth.

Question: I don't want to change the flow of water at all but I do want to put in some kind of culvert with a berm over it so I can get a screen/trees growing there. Transplanted trees last year and that was a failed experiment. If I do this culvert/berm is that something I have to go through US Corp of Engineers or some other agency for approval?

Red line is flow of water. Blue lines are where I'd want the berm.
overflow.JPG
 

willy

A good 3 year old buck
#2
hybrid willow or other willows won't grow there? Only asking as I see lots of willows growing in drainages in my area. Even ones that are tile fed or spring fed. There is water present all the time in these spots. The willows always hold their leaves into Nov here and get very full of branches that really continue to screen through the dead months.
 

bjseiler

Yearling... With promise
Location
Northern Indiana
#3
Using a big tree spade on a bobcat we transplanted about 40 trees of various sizes about a year and a half ago. I think one is maybe still alive. We picked trees from very nearby thinking they'd do the best since they already tolerate the soil (super hard clay). No dice. I guess I can give willow a try if I can't get the water manipulated. I think the tree transplanting was about $1000 down the drain.
 

willy

A good 3 year old buck
#4
I would just use some weed control mats around willow cuttings, protect the cutting with tubes and later fencing if they take. Use bigger cuttings if possible. John, owner of this site sells cuttings and his have done very well in my heavy clay soil in low lying wet areas as well as higher ground that only received what mother nature gave them. It would be a cheap try compared to the tree spade experiment.

If you know someone that has willows or hybrid willows you could get cutting from them as well. I've used cuttings up to 1.5" wide to start more trees. I cut them 18" long and pushed them into the ground until about 2 to 4"were sticking out of the ground. If you can't push them easily into the wet ground then use a tile spade to make a crease and slide them in as far as possible and stomp the dirt in around them. Both ways have worked well for me.
 

bjseiler

Yearling... With promise
Location
Northern Indiana
#5
Thank you so much for the willow idea. I have several willow trees on the other side of the farm. I'll give that a shot.

I believe most of the transplants that failed were swamp oaks.
 
#6
Sounds like everything with the lake and drainage is fine other than you want a screen of sorts in that one area. I personally wouldn't mess with something that's not broken, you may not like the end result. I agree with trying to establish willows and other water tolerating shrubs and trees such as river birch, elderberry, dogwoods maybe even white cedar if you can keep the deer off them.
 

ruskbuckss

A good 3 year old buck
#7
I have a 12 acre lake that is fed by both springs and the surrounding wetland runs into it. Water level stays shockingly consistent. Even at the end of last summer's draught maybe it receded a foot or so. Water flows out of the lake and into a ditch that runs next to a highway. "Flows" is really more of a steady trickle but the dampness caused in that corner has meant no trees will grow. It is a bit of an eyesore to have this beautiful lake and forest but then a corner of it is cars screaming back and forth.

Question: I don't want to change the flow of water at all but I do want to put in some kind of culvert with a berm over it so I can get a screen/trees growing there. Transplanted trees last year and that was a failed experiment. If I do this culvert/berm is that something I have to go through US Corp of Engineers or some other agency for approval?

Red line is flow of water. Blue lines are where I'd want the berm.
View attachment 16152
I like your idea. If you can get the water more contained instead of flooding the whole area the trees should be able to make it. I'm not sure about the permit deal,but if you go thru the DNR,Army Corp they will make you jump thru hoops. It would probably not be worth it financially.
 

cavey

Yearling... With promise
#9
Question: I don't want to change the flow of water at all but I do want to put in some kind of culvert with a berm over it so I can get a screen/trees growing there. Transplanted trees last year and that was a failed experiment. If I do this culvert/berm is that something I have to go through US Corp of Engineers or some other agency for approval?
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I've seen willows bundled and buried along creek bed shorelines like in the image below, or just staked into the ground, one other method if the ground is too wet would be to use gunny (bio degradable) sacks filled with soil and willow cuttings stuffed into them. You can just plop them down in rows into the mucky weed line, as long as most of the bag is out of the water you would have a stable area for the willows to take root in... you could then zig zag the the willow mats or plantings - eventually the drainage will route around the plantings as things mat up and you would have a pretty good screen blocking the road.
1515521523787.png
 

Ben.MN/WI

A good 3 year old buck
Location
SE MN
#10
I'm not sure how things work in Indiana, but I know getting approval for a berm in a wetland in WI is very, very difficult. I wanted to raise the water level in wet area that currently supports mostly mosquitos. The US fish and wildlife service had a program that would pay for most of the work since it would improve and expand the wetland and they even designed it and filled out all of the permit request paperwork. I still needed approval from the DNR and corps of engineers and they both said the project can't go forward because it is changing an existing wetland. Even though the project would increase the wetland size and quality, since the existing wetland isn't impaired they couldn't approve any change.

I doubt you will get approval for a dike across a wetland, but maybe you could throw some dirt in a few areas by hand and create high spots where you could plant willows.
 

ruskbucks

A good 3 year old buck
#11
I'm not sure how things work in Indiana, but I know getting approval for a berm in a wetland in WI is very, very difficult. I wanted to raise the water level in wet area that currently supports mostly mosquitos. The US fish and wildlife service had a program that would pay for most of the work since it would improve and expand the wetland and they even designed it and filled out all of the permit request paperwork. I still needed approval from the DNR and corps of engineers and they both said the project can't go forward because it is changing an existing wetland. Even though the project would increase the wetland size and quality, since the existing wetland isn't impaired they couldn't approve any change.

I doubt you will get approval for a dike across a wetland, but maybe you could throw some dirt in a few areas by hand and create high spots where you could plant willows.
That sucks they wouldn't let you put your pond in. I understand some of the reasons for these rules, but they are out of control. I'm trying to dig a 1 and a 3 acre pond in my friends corn field. The DNR has the two areas we want to put the ponds as designated wetlands. There is no water at all here and is 100% planted in corn. They way I understand it farmers can do what they want in the fields, such as put drain tile in, spray existing plants, and plow it under. If a private land owner or business wanted to do this,its out of the question.Last year on the jobsite, the landowner had to spend almost $1,000,000 to protect a "temporary wetland ditch". The farmer drove his tractor thru hear for 50 years. We had to build temporary crossings. It was $60,000 for just the rip rap for this. The best part was this wetland ditch is right in the middle of a future 1,00,000 square ft building, so it eventually will get filled in when the building goes up!
 

buckdeer1

A good 3 year old buck
#12
Just cut some willow limbs in early spring before they leaf out and stick them buds up and they should grow.And they may use enough water to help dry out.I you decide to pipe and build up with some tile or plastic culvert then I know what I would do especially if it could be done without alot of notice.You may want to plant willows in a way that you could add something later.You might do some cottonwood plantings also as they will really suck up the water.To make cottonwood cuttings I dig up a little root at base of tree and leave the end sticking up until it sprouts then cut the other end and replant
 
#15
overflow.png as long as we are drawing, this is kind of what I was going for, try bombing in some cuttings, especially on the higher sides, you can stab in willow cutting by the hundreds for free this spring, if you can drive a four wheeler dragging log or better yet a dirt bike a few times through making only one track, the wheel ruts will redirect the water, just a rut of a few inches will help dry out the sides a bit and you may be able to get a better catch of shrubs or trees going... cut some red osier dogwood too and mix that in, they love wet ground.

I have some wet ground, I have plans to build a few raised bedding areas in the middle of it.. the only way I will be able to get to the areas is in the winter with a good freeze up... next year im going to pre fill some burlap bags with soil and have a pile of cut logs staged then drag them in and pile them up by some existing shrubs. Then in the spring go in and finish out the raised areas for bedding including planting a shrub or two on the micro islands. If you have any boggy mounds just stab the willow cuttings into them. Those efforts will not be as obvious as would putting a culvert in.