What is Cattail
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Cattails can be desirable in a pond. They provide important wildlife habitat, shelter for birds, food and cover for fish and for the insects they eat. Cattails help protect the banks of a pond from erosion. They intercept and reduce the force of small waves and wind on the shore. The stems catch and slow water and help trap sediment and silt. Cattail roots harbor microorganisms that help break down organic materials. New research shows that cattails can also remove polluting materials from the water surrounding their roots. It is pleasing to see small patches of cattails dispersed around a pond; however, a thick wall of cattails along the shore of the pond makes it hard to enjoy their benefits.
The tendency of cattails to grow in thick stands causes concern for many pond owners. If you want to reduce the amount of cattails in your pond, you should first determine how extensive they are and in what ways they interfere with your enjoyment of the pond. This will help you decide which approach will work for you.
Cattails (Typha latifolia, T. glauca, and T. angustifolia) are native wetland plants with a unique flowering spike and long, flat leaves that reach heights of 4 to 9 feet. They are one of the most common plants in large marshes and on the edge of ponds. Many pond owners view cattails with uncertainty because they have a tendency to grow in thick, nearly impenetrable stands, blocking the view of open water and raising the concern that they will take over and cover a pond. This article describes the various techniques available for cattail control.