Golf Course Management

OCT 2014

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

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Page 62 of 128

56 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 On the golf course, hazardous trees are problems waiting to happen. Regardless of how they got that way — basal decay and other root plate defects, root entanglement, co-dominant leaders, cracks in the trunk, root sepa- ration from soil and subsequent leaning, heartwood decay or borer-infested cambium — the trees have reached the stage where failure will likely require action. The word "action" conjures up all sorts of perceptions and questions: Why take action? What kind of action? What if I don't want to take action? What if the course can't afford it? What if it causes a disruption in our main- tenance schedule? What if I do nothing and just hope for the best? Are there several acceptable actions or just one? As you read along, keep these questions in mind. good place to start and help address the "what" and "why" questions. Tree injuries and defects are much easier to pre - vent than fx. Mechanical injury to the trunk, some- times referred to as "mower blight," is a good case in point; rabbit and mouse damage is another. Once the bark and cambium (conductive vessels located just under the bark) are damaged, a tree's capacity to move water and nutrients throughout becomes compromised. As much as is feasible, strive to sepa - rate trees from turf by placing mulch at the root fare, starting 4 to 6 inches away from the base of the trunk and extending it into the turf as far as golf play will allow. Mulching has other benefts as well, such as reducing turf and tree competition, suppressing weed growth and allowing each tree to be watered and fer - tilized separately according to its own needs. As simple as it may sound, using proper tree plant - Methods of persuasion There are many ways to persuade people to take a certain action or make a certain choice. Televi - sion advertising is perhaps the best everyday exam- ple of persuasion. Ad agencies are well known for creating a need, seizing an existing need and using positively perceived trends such as recycling, eating organic food and other socially conscious activities. With tree hazards, there is no need to create a need; one has been created for you. The best approach is to deal with the existing need in a responsible manner through facts, feelings and fnances. Facts Joe Friday, a police detective in the television se - ries "Dragnet," often exhorted his witnesses to stick to the facts — "Just the facts, ma'am." As with most issues on the golf course, focusing on the facts is a The failure of a tree puts golfers, workers, golf cars and other property at risk. Tree injuries and defects are much easier to prevent than fx. Photos courtesy of John Fech

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