Golf Course Management

JUL 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Top: Natural wood-based mulch should be placed as far into the golfscape as play will allow. Bottom: Local botanic gardens and arboretums are good sources of disease-resistant plant material. as soon as it is identifed, which allows for more rapid compartmentalization of the injury. Though plant pathologists tend to disagree on the subject of decay prevention when pruning small limbs, using a disinfecting agent such as alcohol or bleach could prevent the transfer of certain diseases from one tree to the next. Generally, applying a 10 percent solution of either is a recommended practice. Using an arborist certifed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a wise preventive step as well. Taking advantage of an arborist's years of training and experience is a great way to add capacity to the maintenance staff without adding the cost of operating equipment and to transfer the liability of the pruning work to another party. In the event of a mishap, it's their insurance that pays, not the course's. Certifed arborists for every locale can be found at Shrub plantings, especially older stands and hedges, greatly beneft from the removal of inner stems. For shrubs that develop canes, such as ninebark, lilac, forsythia, viburnum, spirea and dogwood, removing a third of the older stems each year keeps the plant young and thrifty, preventing borers and canker problems. If cane-growing shrubs have been neglected for many years and developed pests, "renewal pruning" is the best course of action. Use a chain saw to remove all stems at the ground level. If a healthy root system is in place, the shrub will produce new stems that are free from insects and diseases. Biotic pest prevention Pest control can be one of the costliest line items in the budget. If the cost of controlling pests on the ornamentals were zero, all stakeholders would wear a big smile. Of course, that's not realistic, but it is certainly a worthwhile target. Three main categories of pests should draw the most attention. Diseases. Disease resistance is a very effective method of pest prevention. With so many disease-resistant cultivars of crabapple, hawthorn, juniper, cherry, maple, etc., it's simpler to head off disease at the pass by choosing ones with genetic resistance to fungi and bacteria. Other species such as Russian olive and poplar are quite susceptible to fungal diseases and should be avoided. In addition, "trash" trees and shrubs such as tree of heaven and mulberry should be avoided. Good sources of information on specifc cultivars in each state include botanic gardens, arboretums and university Extension faculty. Insects. Insects can also be controlled by selecting resistant species and cultivars. Certain tree and shrub species, such as ash, Scots pine and honeysuckle, are on the list to avoid. 66 GCM July 2013

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