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Master Tree Plan Review

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Master Tree Plan Review

When I took over in 2005, there was one thing that I felt needed to get done before anything else and that was to address the tree problems at STGCC. Since the early 80's I watched as large trees would fall down in wind storms or large limbs would break off trees do to insect damage, it seemed like we only reacted when a tree failed. After years of cutting down rotten & hollow trees after they had failed I knew something had to be done before someone got hurt.

I knew the state of most of our older willow trees was poor and that we had too many trees planted in the wrong spot, I enlisted the help of our Architect Ian Andrews and a Certified Arborist Darryl James. Ian identified trees that needed to be remove for playability and to accommodate the changes in our Master Plan & Darryl singled out trees that were planted in poor location, that were week trees do to damage and trees that had been planted to close together.

Both the Tree Master plan and the Arborist Report were approved by the Board and in the winter of 2008 we started work on the Tree Master Plan. It was agreed that we would work slowly on the tree plan and remove 50 to 100 trees a year as not to shock the membership and we could have a look at the changes from year to year and make adjustments to the plan as we seen the results, and then came the ASH BORER. We started to see ash trees die the summer of 2014 and we started cutting them down in Jan of 2015 we removed close to 300 dead ash trees in winter of 2015/16/ and in 2017 we got back to the tree master plan.

In 2013 and 2017 we had the USGA to the course for an assessment and both reports said we have to many trees planted in the wrong locations and we needed to address this issue before it get worse, we already had signs of poor turf growing conditions in areas and as the trees mature growing conditions will only get worse for turf.

Mass planting of trees was a mistake that many clubs make in the 80s and golf courses are starting to correct this problem by bringing in architect and agronomist to help with the planting and removals of trees, I hope in the next 2 to 3 years we will have the golf course looking its best and growing conditions acceptable to the USGA, we have seen that the removal of trees has open up the golf course and revealed some of the original vistas that first attracted architects to the property,.

For 2018 I would like to start marking all trees for removal starting this Sept/Oct so the members will have time to see what trees are being removed and allow them to ask questions as to why we have chosen those trees. I would like the membership to now that I love trees and I am only cutting down trees that will have a negative effect on the golf course in the coming years. As we remove some of the non-desirable trees we start to see the beauty of the trees we left behind ,sometimes one large tree sitting all on its own looks much better than a group of 3 or 7, if you think back to the 3 large Austrian pines on the left side of #2 just beside #17 tee it was recommended that all 3 trees were to be cut down and in the winter when I removed the first 2 it showed me that the 3rd tree did not need to be removed and know we have a beautiful pine for years to come.

I would like to let the membership know that I will treat all the trees on the course with respect and will not remove any trees that have not been approved after careful consideration.        
Posted: 3/29/2018 12:44:52 PM by Dennis Piccolo | with 0 comments

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