Trees are wonderful to look at during a round of golf. They provide shade on hot days. They help to clean the air of pollutants. But, when it comes to healthy turfgrass for greens, tees and fairways, it is best that they are not there at all. Some of the basic ingredients for healthy turfgrass are sunlight, water, and air movement. All of these may be robbed from the turfgrass by neighboring trees.
The removal of specific trees from “in play” areas may improve sunlight, water and air movement. It is obvious that the removal of a tree will increase sunlight (a very necessary ingredient) but what may not be so evident is the pilfering of much needed nutrients from the root system of the turfgrass from what is called “root competition”. Tree roots will rob the turfgrass of nutrients simply because of its ability to intake more water.
Stagnant air on hot, humid nights is a large component in the creation of the perfect environment for the incubation of many kinds of fungi on low cut turfgrass. Many of which will, literally, devastate a golf green overnight. To increase air movement and decrease the possibility of a lethal disease, removing a tree may be, and typically is, the best option.
If that’s not enough, imagine hitting a sweet 8-iron 150 yards to the green only to find it directly behind a huge pine tree. I’m sure you’ll agree that it would be best if the tree were not there at all.
Have you ever wondered “Why are those darned hoses out here now?” Well, if you have, here are some of the reasons why the practice of hose watering is necessary:
- It is the most efficient method of delivering water to the root system of a golf green.
- To replenish much needed water to the grass plant in the high heat season.
- It will reduce the effects of localized dry spot.
- It will decrease the occurrence of wilt damage.
- Top cool down the foliar tissue of the grass plant during high heat months.
- It will decrease the air temperature directly above the grass plant (1-2 in.).
All of these reasons keep the grass plant healthy during a very stressful time of year. Please keep in mind that a green is typically mowed at heights ranging from 5/32” to less than 1/8”. With hundreds of people walking on them everyday, they need all the help they can get. Healthy greens result in better playability, which in turn results in a better golfing experience. So, keeping this in mind, the biggest reason “why those darned hoses are out there” is to offer the best product possible for the golfer.