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Impact of Plants on Earthen Dams

COURSE NO: C08-014
Impact of Plants on Earthen Dams
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides the technical knowledge necessary to understand 1) the detrimental impacts of tree and woody vegetation growth on the safety of earthen dams, and 2) the methods, procedures, and benefits of maintaining desirable ground-covering vegetation on the embankments of earthen dams.


Damage to earthen dams and dam safety issues associated with tree and woody vegetation penetrations of earthen dams is all too often believed by many dam owners, safety regulators, and engineers to be a routine maintenance situation.  Contrary to this belief, tree and woody vegetation penetrations of earthen dams and their appurtenances have been demonstrated to be causes of serious structural deterioration and distress that can result in failure of earthen dams.


This 8 PDH online course is intended for dam owners, operators, inspectors, safety regulators, engineers, and consultants interested in gaining a better understanding of the impacts of plants on earthed dams.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about problems with tree and woody vegetation growth on dams
  • Understanding the principles of tree growth and tree root development
  • Becoming familiar with earthen dam safety inspection and evaluation methodology
  • Knowing the goals of controlling tree and woody vegetation growth on earthen dams
  • Learning about proper dam remediation design
  • Understanding the economics of proper vegetation maintenance
  • Understanding the relation of cost of mowing versus tree removal
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the FEMA Publication 534, "Technical Manual for Dam Owners, Impacts of Plants on Earthen Dams," September, 2005.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Impact of Plants on Earthen Dams (4.5 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of forty (40) questions to earn 8 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this FEMA publication.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: