Monday, December 12, 2011

Tree Removal

Tree removal can be a touchy subject with some people, and I am gradually becoming one of those people. I used to not have a problem cutting down a tree if it would give me the ability to grow grass better. After a while I started looking into environmental programs. I have since partnered the golf course with the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP). We are not a Certified Cooperative Sanctuary yet. Hopefully with some effort we will get there some day. I am getting a little off topic though.

I am making an effort not to fully remove trees unless there is no alternative. The rule for me is if the tree may pose bodily harm or harm to personal property it must be removed. Live trees serve a function as well as dead trees. Dead trees have a function? Yes, they are a food source to insects, and the insects are a food source to birds and bats. Dead trees also serve as shelter to animals and insects such as honey bees. Now I have to really judge the situation before we decide to remove a tree.

Unfortunately, I had to remove a tree on #14 Friday. The tree had been losing many large limbs in high winds. Upon further investigation the tree was about 90% rotten. The tree was to the point where it had to be removed. When we cut the tree down a opossum came running out of it. Unfortunately we removed the opossum's home but we also removed a risk for our patrons and neighbors. Below are some pictures of how far gone the tree was.

If you would like more information about the ACSP please visit

Bunker Removal

We have begun working on bunkers again this winter. A few of the bunkers did not make the cut to be rebuilt. Two of the bunkers that we are removing are #12 fairway bunker and #14 right side fairway bunker. We are removing some others also but these two are different. In the past we have converted bunkers to Fescue grass bunkers and some we have back filled and sodded with Bermuda. With these two we are using a different method.

I decided to create playable space where there used to be a hazard. We took a tractor with a six foot tiller on the back of it and thoroughly tilled up the lower end of the bunker. We could then use the front end loader to fold the lower end into the upper end of the bunker to create a burm. we then came out with a box blade and did some shaping and smoothing before seeding it with Rye for the winter. The Rye is primarily to prevent erosion in the winter months. Next year we will kill out the Rye and sod with Bermuda and keep it mown at primary rough height.

My thinking is that the burm will still stop a ball that may be headed for trouble and create an off balanced lie for the golfer, while maybe being able to expand the fairway in some cases. Below is a picture of #14 shaped and seeded. I hope that some of these areas will help the higher handicapper while still leaving a little challenge for the scratch golfer.