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Author Topic: Do Tree Roots Stabilize Erie Canal Embankments - Question Resolved  (Read 48 times)

Doug K

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This seems to be the basic question:

Do trees or their roots HURT or HELP maintain the strength of Erie Canal Embankments they grow upon?

If you ask the LEADERS of the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group (STCC), they say trees help.

In fact they say that embankment "strength" depends on having all those invasive trees present.

Here's what the STCC Facebook Group has stated on their Google Webpage:

Of course the STCC makes this claim with ABSOLUTELY NO FACTS OR PROOF to substantiate their statements

And to the members of this Facebook group, that so called "proof" doesn't really matter, as long as their leaders, Ms. Lizzy Agte & Ms Ginny Maier, say that "tree roots actually stabilize soil". All members follow right along, swallowing these STCC denials and lies just like they were stated and supported facts. Not one Dam Safety engineer or expert has supported the STCC allegations.

And worse yet... No one within the group ever questions management in this Facebook group...I wonder why not?

This has been one of the guiding principles of this group since Day 1... DENY the truth about Canal Embankments actually "being dams" and also deny all facts related to tree root & soil destabilization, all facts that are supported by Science & Experts, regarding Earthen Dam Safety.

But the FACTS are clear here... supported by every dam safety expert, and just about every Federal or State agency tasked with Dam Safety, they all say otherwise.

In fact FEMA, who has literally written the books on most aspects of Dam Safety in our country have stated just the opposite. Trees, and tree roots DESTABILIZE the soil and the embankment dam itself by something referred to as root penetration. Now this may not matter as much to trees growing in your own yard or those you see on a hillside or along the highway.

But then those trees are NOT growing along the slopes of earthen dams holding back Erie Canal water that can devastate a community in minutes.

READ IT AGAIN PLEASE: Tree Root Soil Stabilization is likely the most common misconception associated with tree growth and tree root development.

1) Tree root development that is necessary to provide nutrients for tree growth and stabilize the tree actually loosens the soil mass.

2) Root penetration stabilizes the tree and loosens the soil mass within which the tree roots that are developing.

And it's not just FEMA who believes this statement about "roots stabilizing the trees but NOT the soil". Just about EVERY STATE in OUR COUNTRY says Trees on Dams are a SAFETY ISSUE.

New York State DEC Certainly agrees.

And also the Association of State Dam Safety Officials states the EXACT SAME THING... Trees should not be allowed to grow on any earthen dams.

Many states have outlined the issues with Trees on Dams and have guidebooks to address the issues.

But perhaps the BEST way to see if tree roots stabilize the ground they are growing out of is to simply look at facts.

Everyone has seen trees blown over on very windy days. So much for the "earth & dirt" holding that tree in place. And even though it's a known fact that tree ROOTS stabilize the TREE, the wind was able to blow the tree over, roots and all.

Oh I know what you may be thinking, saying something to yourself about over-saturated ground contributing to the issue of "tree & root stability". That's just an excuse for one's own ignorance when presented new facts that collide with 'old misconceptions". I never said it was raining, just a windy day.

The facts are clear on this: tree roots nourish and stabilize trees... until they don't.

And maybe the reason that trees fall over is to simply disprove the misconceptions many have about soil being held together by those roots. We are all afraid of changing our own paradigms, and some misconceptions we have are deeply entrenched.

Or perhaps we simply look at this picture of a tree, on an earthen embankment, with "roots" that have lost their "grip" on the earth & dirt it once had.

And for those saying tree roots stabilize the soil... what do you have to say now?

Where did all that dirt go? Why did the roots not do their job of holding that dirt in place?

You can easily see the marked erosion on this embankment, you can see the EXPOSED tree roots trying desperately to keep the trees from sliding down the hill, into our driveway. This is exactly what many trees look like along the Erie Canal embankments, dead or dying, and ready to have the tree fall, which will expose even more roots. Look how the roots are all uncovered above and below the main trunk, the tree is holding on with some roots but is losing the battle, it will eventually succumb to the forces of gravity.

This story could be about a tree that fell over because it's roots finally broke through the earthen dam it was growing on and its roots are now PIPING and that starts the slow trickle of water needed to cause that canal embankment to breach. That will take all the trees along the washed out embankment, and pushing those trees along a 12" tall wall of canal water running downhill. This isn't a guess, it's facts layed out already by the Canal Corporation on it's Embankment Integrity website.

No, this tree isn't sitting on the slope of a canal embankment dam, but it could very well be one... and that would be scary

So what about that original statement that Tree Roots Stabilize the Soil?

Do you still believe it's true, despite all these new facts?

Are you willing to continue to delude yourself with your own misconceptions or believe the lies being told on the STCC website?

My guess is that many of you will... simply because humans REFUSE to understand one simple concept...

"We don't know what we don't know..."

Because it's terribly obvious, by looking at Facebook and other Social Media websites, that MANY of us act like we know everything about EVERYTHING!

Just ask Ms. Agte and Ms. Maier... if you dare.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2023, 03:25:31 pm by Doug K »

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Michael Caswell

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OH! My aching sides!  (From laughing)
Of all the drivel I have read, this is about the best these raving lunatics have come up with.

After reading this piffle I really struggle with believing anyone with a modicum of sense would belong to this idiotic group.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 11:42:22 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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I think an ECNA Poll should decide:

Which word best describes the musings of the STCC?

Drivel or Piffle?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023, 09:36:42 pm by Doug K »