Willow Trees – Aesthetically Pleasing, But They Have A Big Thirst
North Texas weathermen report our region is experiencing the fourth driest period on record. Most areas have received just over 6-inches rainfall from March to July. If you don’t supplement declining pond levels with a well, follow water conservation steps, even when making decisions about what trees to plant around the shoreline.
Willows are popular varieties, but they absorb more water than most trees. They thrive in damp, moist soil, even shallow standing water, and may grow 10-feet per year. Long limbs attractively sway in the wind, but willow trees can create numerous problems. Some sizes may guzzle 100-gallons a day. Such consumption from small ponds becomes significant if there is not a supplemental water source to maintain constant levels.
Average life span of a willow is less than 50 years. Since, roots aggressively seek water, root systems grow large quickly. Reports indicate they can penetrate pond dams and liners. When a tree dies on a dam, decaying roots can leave channels that create fissures. If such conditions develop, water may begin seeping and potentially impact structural integrity of the dam. Although not classified as an invasive species, roots also may damage irrigation intake pipes at shorelines or sewage tanks around homes.
Bald cypress are optional landscaping. Carefully research planting instructions for this region.