Monday, January 11, 2016

2015/16 Tree Work

(Editor's note:  This was supposed to be posted on January 2, 2016, but did not due to a technical error.)

A beautiful December sunrise
If you took advantage of the warmer golf weather that December brought, you may have noticed the tree work that has been accomplished within the last few weeks, and may have questions on the reasons why certain trees were removed.  Elcona's tree removal strategy revolves on continuously improving playing conditions and turf health on the golf course, while maintaining the integrity and playability of each hole. Trees are a tremendous asset to Elcona's golf course, as long as they are the right tree in the right location.

The impact of tree roots and nutrient competition  to a turf stand.
Some trees can be targeted for removal discussion based on their proximity to fairways or greens, their impact on the surrounding turf health (too much shade and nutrient competition), while others are targeted because they are growing into other, more desirable trees.  Others are removed for their own failing health or the large amounts of debris and litter they produce.  The picture above shows quite healthy turf outside of the tree rootzone, which is clearly defined by the brown turf.  Below I have identified a couple areas and the reasoning behind their removal.

Right side of 6 with a couple Sugar Maples removed

#6/16 before removal

This area above is on the right side of 6, both off of the tee and in the rough short of the bunker.  This area is a popular spot for wayward tee shots, but is quite thin in terms of turf cover due to many Maple trees, in terms of their maturation, high shade cover, and robbing the micro-environment of nutrients that the turf uses to thrive.  The above left picture shows an example of the thin turf cover and bare areas that are typical in this situation.  This removal will increase the amount of sunlight to the area and create a better environment for turf to grow, while still providing a challenge for any wayward tee shots.

#1 from the landing area.
The area to the right is #1 from the landing area.  The tulip tree behind the green was removed due to the large amount of debris that is rained onto the green, as well as the damage it took from a couple of storms in the past 2 years.  Roots were also beginning to encroach the immediate green surround and impacting the health of the bluegrass.  Two oak trees on the left side of the hole will also be removed later this month whenever the ground freezes.  Both oaks are in sickly shape, one from oak wilt and the other from an ant infestation.

We also have continued focusing our efforts on removing silver maples on property to further reduce those pesky helicopter seeds that are prevalent in the late spring months.  About 10 additional ash trees have been removed due to their succumbing to Emerald Ash Borer damage.

I welcome anyone that has questions on any work done on the golf course to contact me at, or give me a call at the maintenance facility.


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