Weeds in stream


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Old 07-25-22, 12:40 PM
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Weeds in stream

I have a project (maybe) that I need some help on. In the pictures you'll see what looks like a bunch of weeds, which they are. The problem with cutting down those weeds is there is a stream that runs through them. I am thinking about doing some renovations there by putting in some 3 foot diameter black corrugated piping that would take the water through them, then I would fill in all around them with soil (dirt, whatever) where I would throw grass seed and therefore mow over the entire area. I asked a guy at the DEP if that was okay to do and he said as long as I get a permit I could do almost anything I wanted. I don't know how costly it would be and that's why I'm asking. Has anyone ever done something like that. It's probably about 40 or 50 feet on the length. Thanks for any suggestions as long as they're not negative.


 

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07-30-22, 11:46 AM
Hal_S
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Originally Posted by Norm201
Poplars are cheap and just taking a cutting and sticking it into the ground it will take root.
Or just go with forsythia bushes - they grow into big yellow bushes up to seven - ten feet across. They root from cuttings left on wet ground (literally- worked college summers as a landscaper, the forsythia branches we trimmed at 9 am had put down roots when we cleaned up at 5pm), and they spread, they're easy to cut back, and they're soft / no thorns.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 07-30-22 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 07-25-22, 01:45 PM
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What's your goal for this?
 
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Old 07-25-22, 01:51 PM
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The thing that worries me about an extended drain tile is if it were to get plugged up with debris - it would be difficult to clear it.

Another option would be clean it up and use large rocks to make it look nicer.
 
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Old 07-25-22, 02:58 PM
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If the stream width and depth in the photo is typical, I think a sickle bar attachment for a tractor or a sickle bar mower would keep that area looking maintained. Burying a stream has many environmental issues to contend with.
 
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Old 07-25-22, 05:11 PM
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Eh, generally, it's a pain to get DEP permits.
The simpler, and perhaps better option is to just get a bag of PennDot wildflower mix and over-seed it.

For my swales, I just let those damp spots grow out into a bank of ferns, and/or toss in the Halloween pumpkin so I don't have to buy them again each year.
 
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Old 07-25-22, 05:28 PM
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Is it a year around stream....and where does it go...or exit ?
 
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Old 07-25-22, 05:43 PM
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Thanks for some good suggestions. For starters, my goal would be to grass it over the pipes so I can just run my John Deere over it. I'm 75 and it's getting more difficult to get the Husqvarna weed trimmer to do its job. And I didn't even think about debris in those pipes. Whenever we get a big t-storm we get all kinds of debris coming down the stream. That little 5 to 10 feet stream can be as wide as 50 feet! And it all leaves my yard and goes into another stream which eventually ends up in the French Creek and that's all year. The deepest part is perhaps one foot or so. The wildflower mix might be interesting to check out, and I know I'm going to look into a sickle bar attachment. Thanks, you guys. You give me a lot to think about.
 
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Old 07-26-22, 05:11 AM
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Getting the permits to do anything with a permenant stream or river can be quite difficult. In some areas (the coast/beach) authorities don't mind throwing their muscle if you do unpermitted work. So, doing it legally can be difficult.

If the stream cannot handle the flow now. Constraining it to a pipe is going to make the periodic flooding worse. It probably won't hurt the pipe but you really need to think where the water will go when you do get big rains. At least now it the flooding happens in a known area.

Then there is the cost. 36" pipe is over $1'000 for a 20' piece. Then add in the fill dirt needed and you could easily have a $5'000 project.
 
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Old 07-26-22, 06:17 AM
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Another suggestion - seed with grasses that mostly grow during high summer when the area is dry(er).
Years ago I was the 'local guide' for the botanists working on the Bucks County Natural Areas Inventory. (I helped with the north-western section.) One of the things the botanists were looking for were 'sedges' versus 'grass' and 'warm season' versus 'cold season'.
So, what I would try is to over-seed the area with "warm season grasses" which don't grow much during spring (when it's cool) but do grow in the summer, when it is usually easier to get around with a tractor.

Another way to achieve a "tidy' look is by planting the area with a swath of iris, hostas, or 'flags' (tall orange flowers).
 
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Old 07-26-22, 06:30 AM
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Make sure the sickle on the sickle bar mower attachment is long enough to do the job. Be safe with the tractor!
 
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Old 07-26-22, 09:52 AM
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I hadn't checked into the cost of the material but I know since that black pipe is that costly the idea won't get off the ground. And, yes, the stream does not hold the flood when we get a huge storm. And I don't know if this will work but I am going ton buy a cordless hedge trimmer and somehow attach it to my Simplicity Legacy on the bottom of the front loader and run it by those weeds and see how that works. I'd love to try a sickle bar but I think that will be costly, too, so this way with a hedge trimmer I won't lose much plus I can take it back if it doesn't work. Perhaps I'll use my corded hedge trimmer first. But I DO appreciate all the good suggestions and ideas. Thanks. It seems the easiest way is to weed whack it but then my back hurts for several days ever since I wrenched it about 8 years ago bending over and PICKING UP GRASS CLIPPINGS!
 
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Old 07-26-22, 10:42 AM
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You might check into a used string-trimmer-on-wheels for cutting the area without using your back to hold the trimmer
 
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Old 07-26-22, 10:44 AM
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I have made some crazy attachments for my tractor. One was a boom sticking out the side where I could attach a push mower. You could do something similar and drive your tractor along the flat ground with a push mower down in the ditch being pulled by the tractor. You'd have to make several passes to cover the whole width but if it's something you only do a couple times a season it might not be bad. Or, hire a local teenager and point at your line trimmer.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 07:38 AM
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Ernie - My back is even older than yours and picking up grass clippings and leaves is a real pain. Here's what I use and they work great.


 
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Old 07-30-22, 09:41 AM
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I like what Hal has suggested. Planting some type of "something".
Another idea is to plant a row of fast growing and water needing trees, such as willows or popular or even bamboo. Populars are cheap and just taking a cutting and sticking it into the ground it will take root.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm201
Poplars are cheap and just taking a cutting and sticking it into the ground it will take root.
Or just go with forsythia bushes - they grow into big yellow bushes up to seven - ten feet across. They root from cuttings left on wet ground (literally- worked college summers as a landscaper, the forsythia branches we trimmed at 9 am had put down roots when we cleaned up at 5pm), and they spread, they're easy to cut back, and they're soft / no thorns.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 07-30-22 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 07-30-22, 03:37 PM
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Clumping, non spreading, bamboo might work. Mine are 8 feet x 8 feet and have stopped spreading after 5 years. If you buy.....BE SURE they are certified....bamboo mite free.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 04:09 PM
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I can't agree with bamboo. It's even harder to get rid of than mint. Plant bamboo and you will just be adding another yard maintenance job.

Two years ago I spent days working with my neighbor. Her bamboo originally intended as a privacy fence was probably 15' tall and had taken over half of her yard.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 06:06 PM
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Ours tops out a 8 feet high and does not spread beyond the 8 foot base.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 02:54 AM
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It depends on the type of bamboo, my grandson inherited his grandmother's house and he regained a significant portion of yard by clearing out 12'-15' of bamboo along the fence line. He lost his privacy when his neighbor did the same. That bamboo was close to 20' tall.

Forsythia grows easily and can look nice although I'm not sure how pleasing or tall it would get if would be if left untrimmed.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 04:42 AM
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You generally want to keep a ditch free of brush so the water can flow freely and without clogging/damming. I would not plant anything in the ditch. If you aren't able to come up with a way to easily and safely bush hog the ditch you can spray it with herbicide every year or two, whenever you get woody or large weeds. I've finally got a neighbor with teenage sons. $20 an hour and a weed eater works well.
 
 

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