Trees to "dry up" boggy land?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have a boggy area along the back boundry of my property. The soil is clay and holds water. Much of the water runoff from the other 7 acres ends up in this area due to grading and a ditch along a side property line. We don't have standing water there, but the soil is always soft and never dries out. I was thinking about planting some trees to hopefully dry it up.
Any recommendations on tree species for this purpose? I was thinking about a weeping willow since they always seem to be growing near water. Or, am I on the wrong track thinking that a tree will dry things up?
-- Gene Evans (email@example.com), March 30, 2002
I remember hubby talking about a 'super poplar' that matures in seven years, and not only helps dry up boggy areas but can also work to clean up polluted areas. I'm not sure where he read or heard about them. Perhaps try a google search. Not much help, am I?
Willow does need a lot of water, just be sure the are a good long distance away from any of the underground water lines or septic system etc that you may have as they wreak havoc on things like that.
-- Bernie from Northern Ontario (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2002.
Listen to Bernie
-- Kathy (email@example.com), March 30, 2002.
I planted an Australian willow in my front yard & in 1 year it was 12' tall, next year 20. I cut a branch off it & planted it and it also grew 10' a year. Now 3 years later it is 30' tall. You can find them advertised in a few nursery magazines. Plant them 10' apart and they would drink a lot of water and look pretty impressive in the summertime.
-- bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2002.
Run, don't walk to your nearest extension office, and there is a good chance they will PAY you to plant trees. The government has a program where they are paying farmers worthwhile sums to plant trees in boggy areas and along waterways. After the planting, I think they pay per acre for so many years till the trees mature. Those who know how to milk the system have stands of trees planted in every unused nook and cranny on their places. They have planted thousands and thousands of trees in Md.
Maybe some one else on the board has more "technical" info on the program than I.
-- Judy (JMcFerrin@aol.com), March 30, 2002.
Sunflowers are knownto suck upwater excellantly.
-- mitch hearn (email@example.com), March 30, 2002.
Thanks to everyone! The area is far from any utilities or septic problem areas. Would any trees do the job? What about pecan trees?
-- Gene Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2002.
Don't think pecan trees will do well in that damp of a location. Lots of trees have to have well drained soil. Look in a wet location at what grows well there in your area. Your county agent will probably have some pamplets that will help. Don't think you will be interested in their tree planting plans. First you have to have land along a creek or stream that runs year round. Then after they help you with the cost of planting they will pay a small amount for so many years but you have to spray the whole area with herbacides, and you can't let livestock cross the strip to get water out of the creek.
-- David in North Al (email@example.com), March 30, 2002.
Trees will do it, if you get the right tree. Part of the problem with salination of agricultural land is that trees which were pumping water out of the soil were cleared, and sub-surface water with dissolved salts built up until it reached the surface.
I'd advise caution with that "Australian willow". It's a feral black- willow hybrid that's taking over and ruining river systems in Australia. Yes - it's VERY vigourous. It will sucker strongly, and will also grow from seed, which a lot of willows won't.
Talk to your extension officers - that's what you're paying them for.
-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2002.
One of the problems with trees we've discovered here in KY on our place is that during the summer they leaves/vegetation prevents the sun from getting to the ground and it always stays damp/wet/boggy.
We've actually found that cutting so that the ground is exposed to sun/wind ... plus cutting drain ditches ... has done more to dry out some of the wetter areas we have.
It may be a difference in type of ground, though ... a lot of ours is due to runoff further up the hill, but also from springs along the hill ... and the trees were simply keeping the downhill area shaded all the time ...
-- SFM in KY (email@example.com), March 31, 2002.
I live in Texas and there are lots of pecans here. Pecans require huge amounts of water and pecan will drink 250 gallons of water a month during the summer while it is setting its nuts. They must be planted by a water source or they won't grow right.
-- Charles Waddle (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2002.
Look into bamboo, lots of uses; sellable as fishing poles, craft supply, ect. But be aware it will spread.
-- mitch hearn (email@example.com), March 31, 2002.
Our state forestry department (Ohio) has planted "Balled Cypress" with success. Sorry I do not know anything about the tree itself concerning time to mature or market.
-- Ed Copp (OH) (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2002.
Clumping bamboo would do the same but you would not have to worry about spreading. Great suggestion.
-- laura (email@example.com), March 31, 2002.
Swamp White Oak, Red Maple, Bald Cypress, Gray Birch, Gray & Siberian Dogwood, American Hornbeam, Winterberry Holly (shrubby)& several other shrubby type bushes are listed in Musser Forests' catalog as being good for wetlands. They are very reasonable. Phone is 724-465- 5685. No website. e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck! Amy
-- Amy (email@example.com), March 31, 2002.
The tree I have used is the Austree - a hybrid willow. grows 8 to 12 ft. per year. you can take cuttings and they will produce the same. Great for soggy land. Few nurserys carry these, those that do charge an arm and an leg. However, there is one that costs approx. .17 per tree, can't remember which nursery it is tho. Check with all mail order co.'s you can find, just don't pay $5 or so .
-- Dick Tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2002.
How about using this area instead of trying to change it? Elderberries, cranberries, comfrey, mint,and watercress are all useful and edible plants that would like to grow in a damp area. Bamboo is a great option, too. It is very important to conserve this water in the soil, because it is an in-soil reservoir. You may someday wish to have a pond or a bog garden here. Once you plant a willow it will be hard to get out.
-- seraphima (email@example.com), April 01, 2002.
There are some really great suggestions here, and quite varied, so you'll obviously have to weigh your options. My personal opinion is if you don't have any spacific purpose in mind for that back boundry of the property, then follow Seraphima's wisdom. I would probably put a pond there, and make a pond garden with edible, and medicinal plants. If I really wanted to dry up a section, then I'd plant cottonwood, swamp birches, willows, and poplars, but not somethng from Australia, unless I was damn sure I could get rid of it if I wanted to without chemical poisons. here are many trees that you can choose from that grow naturally, and wont be as invasive as bamboo.
-- roberto pokachinni (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 06, 2002.