Monday, April 4, 2011

Large deep roots are what you want in a putting green, but come on REALLY!?

The 15th green at Morro Bay golf course has always been a bit different than the rest of our greens. We give it more water and fertilize it more frequently. In addition to water and fertilizer the keys to a healthy putting green are air movement, above and below ground, and sunlight. Sunlight, particularly early morning, provides the full spectrum of UV rays that all plants require to live and flourish. Sunlight is key to putting green health as each 4-some will take 300 steps on average or 75 steps per golfer. Thats over 10,000 steps per green on a typical day at Morro Bay!

Sunlight is only part of the problem on this particular green. True the green is shaded for the majority of the morning hours by the grove of Eucalyptus trees to the northeast and the Monterrey Pines on the Southwest. Not only do these trees outcompete the turf for sunlight, but they are also outcompeting the green for water and nutrients. Let me show you what I mean.

This is a photo of an area of the 15th green at Morro Bay that consistently struggles each year.

Here is the same area excavated out. What was removed you ask...well see below.

Large, deep TREE roots among our sandy soil. This is not ideal by any means.

These roots range from 1/4 of an inch to nearly 5 inches in width. These roots inevitably traverse the length of the green which is why we periodically prune the roots of the Eucalyptus trees with our trencher. This process severes the roots from their growing point and kills the roots farther from the tree. The only problem is that our trencher can only cut to a depth of 3.5 feet. Every little bit helps!

Joe Oles is pruning the roots of the Eucalyptus with a trencher. Below is a photo of the final results that will hopefully improve the health of the green for a few years until we will need to do this all again.

No comments:

Post a Comment