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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A collar such as this will help to prevent sunscald and rodent damage. During winter the sun can overheat the tissues of thinbarked trees and cause a gradual sloughing and destruction of important cambial vessels. Weeds. Prevention with mulch and pre-emergence herbicides pays dividends by greatly reducing the number of annual and perennial weeds that become established near ornamental plantings. The ones that escape control efforts are usually much easier to control by mechanical means or spot-spraying with Roundup. However, weed fabrics are not recommended, as they don't offer a high degree of control and are expensive. It's common to fnd weeds growing in the fabric itself, a result of soil and fallen leaf debris collecting in the fbers. Abiotic pest prevention In addition to pests that are caused by living organisms, agents and conditions that arise due to weather, vandalism and misunderstandings are worthy of attention as well. Placing mulch around trees, shrubs, groundcovers and perennials prevents mower blight. A 2- to 3-inch layer of natural wood-based mulch should be used, beginning several inches away from the trunk and extending as far into the golfscape as play will allow. Mulching will prevent fungal diseases such as armillaria root rot at the base of the trunk. The goal is to replicate what Mother Nature provides in a native setting. Installing protective devices around tree trunks or thicker stems of multi-trunked shrubs will reduce the incidence of sunscald. Materials such as PVC form a protective collar against the sun's harmful rays. During winter the sun can overheat the tissues of thinbarked trees and cause a gradual sloughing and destruction of important cambial vessels. The collar should be white or beige in color to refect the heat of the sun. A side beneft is the prevention of rodent injury. Ice-melting products can cause serious injury to a variety of ornamentals. Especially where damage has been observed previously and in high-visibility locations, alternatives to sodium chloride should be considered, including a mix of sand and salt instead of salt alone, calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate. GCM John C. Fech, Ph.D., is a horticulturalist with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and an ISA-certified arborist who is a frequent contributor to GCM. 68 GCM July 2013

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