Golf Course Management

FEB 2016

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

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74 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 Triage for trees Have a troubled tree on your hands? Before you take action, you need to diagnose. Here, a certifed arborist guides you through the process of determining just what's befallen an ailing tree. Trees can provide signifcant functional and aesthetic value on a golf course. The shade, structure and beauty they lend are an essential factor in the overall enjoyment of golfers and visitors alike. Keeping trees healthy requires following best management practices for vigor, and integrated pest management techniques for pest control. When things don't go according to plan, however, most situations will call for malady diagnosis, otherwise referred to as "triage." A main difference between caring for herbaceous/grassy plants vs. caring for woody plants is that it's much easier to examine the entire turfgrass plant than, say, the entire oak tree. Not being able to see roughly half the tree's tissues presents an obvious limitation, and it's the reason I sometimes lament being an arborist. If I were a carpet installer or an orthopedic surgeon, I'd at least be able to look at the full space or subject in front of me — that's not possible with the roots of a problematic tree. (Oh, sure, you could use an air spade, but that's pretty drastic and invasive to the tree. Not my favorite technique.) Alas, simply fguring out what's wrong with a particular tree or set of trees can be quite challenging, if not outright daunting. On top of that, each tree species has its own set of prob - John C. Fech AT THE TURN (ornamentals) Co-dominant leaders are two or more stems emerging from the same area of a tree's trunk, an occurrence that commonly results in compressed bark and trunk tissue, severe cracks, and the eventual development of heartwood decay. Photos by John C. Fech

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