Golf Course Management

MAY 2018

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

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36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.18 It's important to acknowledge that removing trees on a golf course can be politically charged and difficult to do. he title might be a bit shocking, espe- cially considering the author is an arborist and horticulturist, but it's always wise to look at all sides of anything that we spend time with, from equipment to turf pests to the trees on the golf course. e theme here is there are issues with the woody plants intermingled with tees, greens and fair - ways. Taking a closer look at the negative aspects of trees in the context of golf will pay dividends of healthier turf, lowered maintenance costs, greater alignment with the course master plan, reduced stress and conflicts with stakeholders, and retention of well-placed, healthy trees. Upfront, it's important to acknowledge that removing trees on a golf course can be politically charged and difficult to do. How - ever, through a research-based, common- sense approach, implementation can be achieved and justified. Keep in mind Judicious tree removal or modification is a process. As it unfolds, it's prudent to keep in mind that some specimens are historic or memorial trees, sometimes with baggage or course-specific information associated with them. ree tenets help guide this process. First, what is or was the original intended purpose of the tree? Was it planted because it was free, pretty, or served a functional purpose such as screening between fair - ways? Second is the premise of Right Tree, Right Place (RTRP). Placement is a really important factor in the process. For exam - ple, baldcypress is a species that is adapted to wet and dry sites and has attractive foli - age and few pest problems. However, it has an extensive root system, often referred to as "knees," that protrudes 1 to 2 feet above ground — a great choice for out-of-bounds or rough areas, but not so good for high- traffic sites. ird, both in terms of choos - ing good candidates for removal and (if ap- T Judicious removal or modification of golf course trees is a process, and it's prudent to keep in mind that some specimens may be historic or memorial trees.

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