Premature Decline and Death of Trees Associated with a Man-made Lake and Groundwater Withdrawals in Albany, Georgia
Bacchus, Sydney T.
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Premature decline and death of associated trees had occurred on an Albany, Georgia tract within nine years following excavation of two man-made lakes, and withdrawal of ground water to augment water levels in the "lakes". Affected species included spruce pine (Pinus glabra), swamp laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), overcup oak (Q . lyrata), and other hardwoods, such as sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). Responses of the dead and declining trees were consistent with those reported at other sites where significant excavations and groundwater withdrawals have occurred. These responses could not be attributed to surface drainage, mechanical damage or disturbance, or natural phenomenon such as drought. The condition of the trees creates a hazard to property-owners, homes and any other structures that may be constructed on the proposed subdivision in the future. This situation also jeopardizes the intended market-ability of proposed subdivision lots as "forested". Similar impacts can be avoided in the future with a more comprehensive understanding of the interaction between aquifers and associated vegetation, and requirements to meter groundwater withdrawals.