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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42 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.18 fungal diseases because of decreased airflow — are significant. ese pests are costly and time-consuming to deal with as well. Physical effects of poorly placed or overly large trees include encroachment into the line of sight for golfers and golf shots them - selves, as well as potential blockage of irri- gation applications to turf. Trees "getting in the way" of golf play and turf watering is usually chronic, gradually increasing with time. At certain times of the year, frost de - lays can be troublesome, requiring resched- uling of tee times and allowing fewer rounds per day. In the long run ese issues underscore the need to get it right from the start. e principles of proper placement, appropriate locations, separation of trees and turf, and initial pruning to pre - vent defects will eliminate many if not most of the problems that can arise. e problems outlined in the previous section draw attention to the importance of selection for shape, size, debris production, pest resistance, aesthetic attributes (that is, fall color, spring flowers, glossy leaves, habi - tat for songbirds) and functional features such as screening. If these specifics are con - sidered in conjunction with the 10 percent guideline to ensure diversity of species, min - imal conflicts will occur. Routine inspection and ongoing moni - toring are essential to maximize high-value persistence in the golfscape. Pests, structural problems and interactions with golf mainte - nance inputs are not to be ignored. Regular maintenance and best management prac - tices for trees (mulching, watering, removal of broken limbs, etc.) will also minimize problems and maximize trees' value. In the long run, a reflection on Right Tree, Right Place is truly worthy. From time to time, as issues arise, asking the question "Would a smaller tree or even a shrub have been a better choice?" will yield positive out - comes. is sort of introspection is helpful, especially if initial selection may have been hurried. Removal or thinning/pruning e title of this article encourages action to rid the course of poorly placed, main - tained or chosen trees. Unfortunately, when you get right down to it, there aren't too many options other than prevention — just pruning or removal. e answer to the ques - tion of whether to cut at the base or in the canopy is: It depends. To find the answer, a couple of initial considerations are pertinent. First, if only one tree is casting excessive shade on a green and dropping excessive debris, a reasonable option would be to strategically remove certain branches to allow greater sunlight penetration and reduce the debris issues. However, if several trees are problematic in a specific location on the course, removal is likely the better choice. Second, the original purpose of the tree should always be consid - ered. If the tree is a historic specimen with significant memorial or aesthetic value, then additional consideration should be taken before any future action. Unfortunately, neither is without nega - tive consequences. Removal of a tree and its associated benefits requires an outlay of re - sources, often brings complaints from stake- holders, and disrupts golf play while the re- moval is occurring. Pruning can have even more undesirable outcomes, ones that are often not expected. Negatives of pruning e most dramatic result of pruning limbs is the opening up of the heartwood to decay invasion. Small cuts made early in a tree's life usually close over with mini - mal infection from pathogens. However, if the diameter of the cut is more than 3 to 4 Backdrop trees for greens can aid golfers in gaining depth perception as they line up approach shots.

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