Even if you’re not a golf enthusiast, it’s hard to deny the beauty of a well-kept golf course. The lush fairways, carefully sculpted sand traps, meticulously manicured greens, and mature tree growth all create a visually appealing environment to enjoy a round of golf. Maintaining a golf course requires a great deal of work. This includes tree management. Although it may be less obvious than other maintenance tasks, tree management plays an important role in keeping a golf course in pristine condition.
What is Tree Management?
Trees can provide a variety of benefits for a golf course. They provide beautiful views along with a host of environmental benefits. However, left unattended they can actually become a detriment to the appearance and integrity of the course. Overgrown or improperly-placed trees can have a significant negative impact on a golf course. Tree management not only involves the care and maintenance of a golf course’s trees but how those trees impact its turf and playability.
Benefits of Tree Pruning and Removal
While golfers may take the condition of a course’s trees for granted, the groundskeeper should fully understand the importance of tree management. This includes tree pruning and, in some cases, tree removal.
Increases Sunlight and Airflow
One of the most common reasons for tree pruning or removal is shade. While it may seem like a benefit for golfers during a sunny day on the course, too much shade can result in damage to the turf.
Trees that cast shade on the turf can cause a reduction in photosynthesis. This will result in the weakening bentgrass on the fairways and greens as well as the bluegrass in the rough. Excess shade can also promote the growth of Poa Annua, one of the most common grassy weeds in the United States. Weeds are one of the last things a groundskeeper wants to find on his course.
Morning sun is important to the health of golf course turf. If trees block the morning sun, dew and frost will remain longer. This extended period of dampness can result in fungal diseases. If tree growth is too dense, it can also restrict airflow. Airflow across the greens can help prevent the development of fungal diseases.
Tree management can be effective in controlling tree growth and ensuring the turf receives the proper amount of sunlight and airflow to keep it lush and healthy.
Eliminate Tree Root Invasion
Tree roots pose a variety of threats to a golf course. They absorb most of the moisture and nutrients from the playing surface, leaving the turf starved for nutrition. Manually watering these areas or pruning the tree roots can offer a temporary fix. However, removing the tree will provide a permanent and more cost-effective solution.
Tree roots can also infiltrate and clog drain lines. When water drainage is blocked, it eliminates the natural air draw in the soil. This will surely damage, if not kill, a green.
Surface tree roots can cause a variety of hazards. If struck by mowing equipment during maintenance, they can cause costly damage. Exposed tree roots on a golf course can also present a safety hazard. Golfers could trip over them or strike them during a swing, resulting in personal injury. Tree management can help minimize the damage caused by tree root invasion.
Mitigate Age, Insect and Storm Damage
Damaged trees will do more than just spoil the appearance of a golf course. They can cause damage to the turf and become a safety hazard. Partially broken or decayed branches can break loose and fall without any notice. Their impact can result in divots in the turf or personal injury to golfers or personnel. Older trees can become weak or infested with insects, compromising their structure. Tree management can address any type of damage and determine if it requires tree pruning or tree removal.
Professional Tree Management Services
The primary responsibility of a groundskeeper is to take care of the golf course landscape. This typically doesn’t include significant tree pruning or tree removal. That where we come in. Boulder Hill Tree Service provides professional golf course tree management services to keep your golf course safe and beautiful. From seasonal pruning to major tree removal, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free estimate.