The title reflects the number of trees removed in the last two months! Why you ask? Very simple, the weather! February’s roller coaster of temperature and precipitation have halted the removals through today and judging by the 10 day forecast, right through the end of the month. The good news is we only have 9 more trees to remove, the bad news is 2 of them are the largest on the list. Hopefully March’s weather will be more cooperative for tree removals.
Before tree removals come to a halt, trees on holes 8, 10, 12, 13, and 14 were removed. Pruning 10 fence line was completed also. The link below will connect you to the updated list and the picture below is a map of all the pruning and removals scheduled for this year. (Please note the future plantings, root and tree pruning are listed for reference only. If time and the budget allows, we may be able to complete some of the work listed.)
Despite the lack of recent tree removals, the Green Dept. has been very busy over the last month. Assisting the Arborist to capitalize on time when the ground is frozen has been a priority for us. We have been able to process all the wood chips and stump grindings, back filling stump holes, along with a detailed cleaning of areas affected by the removals.
We have been able to complete a couple of drainage projects too. Drainage was installed in front of the Short Game Area tee. This will eliminate the puddle that became a breeding ground for insects last summer. And we recently installed drainage along 7 cart path at the green in an effort to prevent runoff from crossing over the green and washing out the right side bunker. This wont prevent washouts during a large rain event as the green is sloped towards that bunker, but should assist in controlling runoff during average rain events. With the new drainage and the fan installation scheduled there this spring, the 7th green should dry down and firm up quicker than in the past. We also will be replacing the contaminated bunker sand in the right side bunker this spring.
Frozen ground at the end of January did allow lime to be applied to the fairways and step cut. Based on soil test and the budget, lime was applied at a rate of 1000/lbs per acre, using 24 tons total. We tried making an application of this magnitude in the past but found it very time consuming using the equipment we have, and the larger problem was keeping the material bone dry as it would sit in the parking lot while! Fortunately our industry still has one last company in the area that makes bulk lime applications. Plant Food out of Cranberry New Jersey has it down to a science with their modern equipment.
These two trucks and operators come in and spread the 24 tons of material in under 3 hours. For comparison, it took us over a week to apply the same amount! This application along with the others we have made to greens, tees and approaches this winter will provide lasting benefits as it “sweeten’s” the soil. Nutrients located in the soil become more plant available when the soil PH is 7 or neutral, tapping into any reserves currently tied up in the fairways and making future fertilizer applications more efficient.
Hopefully I’ll have some updates on bunkers, tees, and fan projects in the next blog. These projects have been at a stand still waiting on cooperative weather. With spring less than 4 weeks away, its looking like a very busy spring is in store for us!