Monday, July 22, 2019

Trees and Turfgrass

In addition to the terrific Rees Jones designed golf course, one of the more pleasing aspects of the golf course at Olde Florida is its natural setting. Often, when I give a tour I park my golf cart on the path, walk up a tee slope and stand on the tee. With the natural setting, and tree lined golf holes, Olde Florida is truly a special piece of property.

Hole #1 at sunrise at Olde Florida Golf Club  

One challenge with trees that golf course superintendents, and others must routinely address is the fact they grow, produce seed and multiply. Therefore, due to light requirements, on occasion the need arises to remove a tree to continue providing acceptable turfgrass quality. More often, at Olde Florida trees are trimmed. Trimming trees and cleaning underbrush in select areas is one of the projects the Olde Florida agronomy staff has embarked on this summer.

Here is a link to a short, but well-written article written by the USGA Regional Director of the Southeast Region on the subject of trees on a golf course

As the article details, one of the primary reasons for trimming trees is to maintain the necessary light required for turfgrass growth. The daily light requirement for bermudagrass has been researched by numerous university turfgrass specialists. As a generality, it's suggested that a minimum of 8 hours of sun is necessary to provide quality turfgrass. However, there are numerous factors that need to be considered including; light intensity, light quality and light duration. Other considerations that must be taken into account are, what is the use of the turfgrass, how much traffic does the area receive and what is "acceptable quality".

In addition to increasing the intensity and duration of light, tree trimming and cleanup of underbrush at Olde Florida reduces weed populations along the perimeter of native areas, reduces debris to be cleaned off turfgrass after a wind storm, provides a cleaner look and finally it enhances the playability of the course.

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