Friday, November 27, 2009

Tree Maintenance Program

Recently the Greens Committee asked me to review the Club’s Tree Maintenance Program. Just as a “refresher”, a TMP is designed to promote tree health and vigor, and ensure that their value will continue to grow. An effective maintenance program includes regular inspections and necessary follow-up care of mulching, fertilizing, and pruning and detecting problems and correcting them before they become damaging or fatal.

An essential part of a TMP is to identify trees that have insect and disease problems and develop a treatment plan. Further, a TMP identifies tree hazards where there is a risk of damage to persons or property. A treatment plan might include pruning, cabling and bracing, routine care and sometimes even removal.

During the early fall before the leaves changed color, I began to evaluate our TMP at Glen Echo. At the last Greens Committee Meeting, I made a power point presentation where I identified trees that were dead, diseased and dying, or were so structurally weak that they presented a risk hazard to our members, guests or our property. The Green Committee has authorized the removal of the dead and diseased trees. A majority of this work will be completed by our staff as course conditions allow us remove the tree. There are some trees that are located near roadways and power lines which might require outside contractors. We will grind all smaller limbs on property and utilize the mulch in our ornamental bed program. Larger logs will be placed in our holding area. Species that will burn in fireplaces will be saved for future use. Other species will be stored in the back of the driving range area. Some logs will be removed from property and hauled away. The tree pictured above is probably the largest tree on property that we intend to remove this year. It is located on the left of the cart path on hole #7 in the area between 5 tee and the main road. Please be assured that our Greens Committee is committed to the development of a tree replacement program. Of course, a new tree shouldn’t be planted just to infill a spot where a tree has been lost. It will take good planning to ensure that we choose the right species of tree, its placement doesn’t affect the beautiful vistas on our course and it will reach maturity without affecting adjacent trees. The choices we make today should be enjoyed for years to come at Glen Echo.

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