January 20, 2015

Taking Down Giants

With the beautiful January weather we had in the last week, Collin and I were busy removing the three cottonwood trees in the row between 6 green and 11 tee that were identified as problem trees last fall.  One tree in particular was incredibly rotten at the base and leaning toward the cartpath on hole 6, creating a significant hazard.

The other two trees that we removed were at the end of the row all the way toward the back of 11 tee.  These two massive trees in particular were causing an extreme amount of shade on 11 tee.  It is a well known fact of turf management that extreme shade is a leading cause of decline of highly maintained bentgrass.  Especially this fall as the sun angles got lower and the days got shorter, the turf quality on 11 tee went downhill dramatically.

Those two trees that were removed will allow significantly more early morning sun to reach 11 tee, which is particularly vital to bentgrass.  Furthermore, being as they as so far down the row from 6 green, they really don't provide any screening or protection from errant golf balls on hole 6, so removal wasn't really a big deal.

11 tee on an August afternoon is in complete shade.
The removal of these two trees will allow significantly more morning
sunlight to reach 11 tee.
The dead of winter is a great time of year for us to perform large scale tree work on the golf course for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, it obviously makes a huge mess, so not having to contend with golfers makes the process much easier.  Also, with the ground frozen hard as a rock, we caused significantly less damage to the turf.  One tree had to drop directly on 11 tee, and hardly even left a scratch.

While we were already in the process of removing the trees, we did some significant pruning to the rest of the trees as well in an effort to raise the limb height.  This also will allow more morning sunlight to reach 11 tee.

I've cut down a lot of trees in my career, but none this big.

It was very evident that the one tree that was overhanging
the cartpath by 6 green was a rotten mess inside, and a
disaster waiting to happen.
The remaining trees were all limbed up much higher.

Cleanup was a breeze, as all the large branches and trunks were chained to the
back of the pickup and skidded down the path and piled up in the waste
area behind 6 tee.

A look at the entire row of trees after removal, trimming, and cleanup.

In the next week few weeks a stump grinder is coming in for a day to remove all the stumps as well as a few other remaining stumps on the course from some other tree removal over the years.  Beyond that, we just have a few sticks to rake up in the spring and fill the stump holes with dirt and grass seed and the project will be wrapped up.

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