The plant life that lives in your HOA or golf course ponds contributes significantly towards maintaining the health and balance of the ecosystem. Most species of common water weeds have a beneficial effect upon the fish and other aquatic life that reside in the pond.
However, when these weeds start to multiply and take over your body of water, they often do the exact opposite. They’re called “emergent weeds” and can literally choke the life out of your ponds and set up a chain of events that can cause massive algae blooms.
We’re going to look at a few types of emergent weeds along with the benefits and detriments that they can bring to any given pond if they start to take it over.
What Exactly Are Emergent Weeds?
While there are many different types of emergent weeds, they usually have a few things in common. They’re rooted plants that live on or very near the shoreline. They typically have a stem that goes into the ground or bottom of the pond. They’re also firm or stiff in rigidness and can grow to several feet in height. While emergent weeds may look nice, they can choke the life out of a pond if they’re allowed to overtake it.
Spikerush is a leafless plant that closely resembles tall grass. It has erect stems and black spikes at the very top. This common emergent plant is found throughout the U.S. in both lakes and ponds and are located in the shallow areas.
They’re very good at stabilizing soil along the shorelines of ponds and lakes. However, someone needs to keep an eye on the population as it can grow exponentially in size. When the area of spikerush gets to be too big, you can use an herbicide treatment that will help keep it in check.
Cattails can be found in almost every single pond across the U.S. This common plant is defined by long, slender stalks that have 1” broad flat leaves. At the very end is a seed pod that resembles a corn dog.
They can establish their territory in up to four feet of water and can grow up to ten feet tall! While they may look like a beautiful water plant, they can severely limit visibility from the shoreline. Due to their lifecycle, cattails can completely eliminate shallow water areas that are critical for small crustaceans and fish.
An infestation of cattails can trap organic matter such as grass clippings, leaves, and dirt. Over time, the shallow areas are filled up with this organic sediment, and the pond starts to shrink both in size and shoreline area.
Creeping Water Primrose
This water plant is hard to spot—and when you finally do, it has already infested a good portion of your pond. Creeping water primrose grows entirely underwater and only makes an appearance on the surface in the summer months to bloom small white flowers.
It grows in shallow water and has hollow stems that are attached to the red leaf. If left unchecked, it can not only limit the amount of oxygen in the water but completely cover the surface, making it look less like a pond and more like a backyard garden.
Purple Loosestrife is a beautiful looking plant. It’s characterized by its fuchsia-colored flowers, which bloom from June through late September. While it does add a splash of color to your pond, this plant is considered an invasive and noxious weed that is not allowed to be moved or planted.
Don’t let purple loosestrife fool you. It’s a very beautiful-looking plant when it’s flowering; however, if left to its own devices, it’s highly aggressive. It will completely take over any given area and kill off other plant species. If you encounter purple loosestrife in your pond, use Rodeo to kill it off and then properly dispose of the plant as just one clipping can cause the infestation to happen all over again.
Smartweed forms mats of puke green to brownish colors in the shallow areas of your pond. The majority of the plant resides and matures underwater and can attach themselves to docks, rocks, or pond maintenance equipment such as aerators.
When it comes time to flower in the summer, you’ll notice a variety of colors such as dark pink and white. This type of plant can emerge above the surface, or it can grow entirely underwater, with only the flowers showing above the waterline.
At American Underwater Services, we specialize in dredging golf course and HOA ponds. We can help slow the infestation of nuisance emergent plants by removing the nutrient-rich muck that resides at the bottom of your ponds.
Maintaining an HOA pond or lake requires a lot of preventative maintenance to ensure that the body of water stays aesthetically pleasing and property values high. If you haven’t had your ponds or lakes dredged in a while, give us a call at (817) 377-8512. We work nationwide and ready to help. Contact us today.
Our dredging services will help increase the life of your pond, remove foul smells, and remove the harmful nutrients that are the cause of nuisance algae or plant outbreaks.