Monday,January 11th, 2010

The first of the year marks the beginning of tree pruning season. We just have a few groves to do and we will have touch most of the trees on the course. Last week we worked on the sixth hole. The tee shot from the forward tee has always been a narrow one with the large firs framing it in on the right. Treecology took as many branches off as possible leaving just a few to allow some shade to the trunk. It really opened up quite a bit of the hole. We also cleaned up the trees behind to allow more air circulation and light penetration. Treecology worked pretty fast and also had time to prune the trees on the right of seven, left of the path and also the trees to the left of three and right of the path. We have one dead fir for sure next to the path on three which we will have to decide what to do with. It would make a great habitat tree being next to the pond but we already have two in the vicinity. We will have to take a closer look and weigh our options.

Treecology has a new device called an air knife which is inserted in the soil around the root zone of the tree. A large air compressor is used to inject a large volume of air in a single blast in which shatters the soil creating airspace and alleviating compaction. As long as we rent the air compressor it shouldn't cost us anything. I am going to try it on the large firs that you see struggling around 13, 11, and 3. I really hope it helps, I don't like seeing these large trees failing.

The weather finally allowed us to plant the oak on eight (left) and we got the old stump ground on Saturday. Steve Pearce put some pruning touches on the bent birch trees around the club house (right) and did a fantastic job. I was ready to dig them out but I think they will grow straight now and look good. Remember, if these photos are to small you can click on them and they will open in a separate browser to full size.

With all of the tree trimming, we have been doing a lot of chipping in the new rubbish bins in the yard. We have piled up quite a bit of chips which we will be able to use around the course as a mulch. The County has been very helpful in loaning us their large chipper to place between the bins to get the job done. Mark and Doug are more than welcome to use as many of the chips as they need for the County Parks.

Right now we are mowing greens on Tuesdays and Fridays. That has enabled us to keep them clean and running smooth. This is the first winter following a full season use of our new fertilizer product, Redox. So far it has met all expectations and more. I didn't really think that we would see much of a difference during the winter but the recovery time that we witnessed following our first deep freeze was shortened greatly. To have the bentgrass actively growing this time of year and able to recover so quickly is great to see.

This week we are ordering new amenities including new hazard markers. The old markers have faded greatly. It looks like it will be costing around $800 to $900 for 12 dozen stakes. We will be replacing all of the stakes around fourteen with the standard hazard marker to avoid confusion during tournament play.

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