Friday, January 31, 2020

Winter Play, Trees. and Sap, lots of Sap

We have not had many desirable golf days over the last few weeks. Warmer weather is predicted this weekend but we will remain closed through Saturday due to our greens being in various stages of thawing. Our greens should be thawed at least 3-4" before we allow play.

A couple things can happen with partially frozen greens. As you step on the surface of the green where the freeze/thaw line is very shallow, the green surface can shift or move as you take steps and the roots can tear at the demarcation line between thawed and frozen. This then forces the plants to use significant energy to grow back their to their full length into the late spring and early summer not allowing it to store energy reserves for the dreaded heat of summer. Also, the freeze line being too high will not allow moisture to drain deeper into the sand profile. The water trapped near the surface will make the surface act like a wet sponge. Foot imprinting will increase and plant tissue can be damaged from the extra soft conditions.

We understand the desire of members wanting to play but allowing a few golfers out when they should not be out could contribute to the loss of turf during the main golf season. I made a video below explaining our current situation.

Also in the video, I discussed our tree management plan that is taking place this winter. In the fall of 2018, I made a power point for the green committee regarding our plan for the next year or two. I put together a 3-4 minute power point showing the trees I was recommending for removal. We removed a number of the trees on approval from the committee but were not able to complete all of the removals due to time. I also felt like a few of the trees could go another year before removal so we delayed their removal to this winter. Through an arrangement that has worked well for us, we were able to get 2 more days of tree removal this winter than planned. The trees that were left from the year before declined significantly over the past year and needed to be removed. Many of our trees were planted in the 50's and 60's and are beginning to show some serious decline. Changes in climate over the last 10-15 years have not helped and has led to decline as they have aged. Record temperatures and high rainfall record years are the types of swings that don't help an aged tree population Pest issues including insects and disease along with lightning strikes and wind damage have been contributing factors as well.

I have also requested a number of tree removals over the last 11 years to improve tee and green turf. Our greens and tees have no infrastructure to assist in combating serious environmental issues. We have 1 green with modern drainage, the others only have a layer of topdressing sand that has helped us but is not adequate during severe wet conditions and heat.

Also, during the next couple of weeks you will see a few orange buckets hanging from our maple trees. Yes, yes, its time to start collecting maple sap to make some homemade Glen Echo Maple Syrup. Not sure what type of year we will have but if today's run is any indication, it might be pretty good. This next couple of warm days might slow down the production but next week with 30's and 20's should help us with our run. We need overnight temperatures below freezing and daytime temperatures to be above freezing to help the tree flow its sap properly for our collection. 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!

As your fairways, tees and zoysia green surround areas dry over the next week our two, we will begin spraying non-selective weed control and pre-emergent to our fairways. You will notice a little blue tint to the fairways which assists us in seeing the area we have sprayed to reduce over spray.  It will take the poa 2-4 weeks to begin to turn yellow, orange and then die. The pre-emergent will reduce the germination of crabgrass and goose grass in our zoysia surfaces.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Maintenance Storm Drain Repair

It’s been a couple weeks and a couple of days of a major storm water repair project for the grounds staff at Glen Echo. A 3’diameter galvanized pipe gathers water from about 30 acres above the grounds maintenance building and dumps it into the right side creek just past the red tee on #1. The pipe was 220 feet long and runs within about 5-10’ from our maintenance building, under our car parking area, driveway and greenhouse. It sits at a depth of 5 feet at the beginning to about 12’ as it dumps into the creek. We’ve evacuated well over 100 tons of soil, rock and asphalt as we prepared the new pipe channel.

We have the pipe installed and are 2/3 of the way in getting the pipe completely buried. We still have some large debris piles in our parking area that will be moved to the long driving range back lot area.
Over the month of February, we have to get the greenhouse vase pad made and build the greenhouse against the building as we prepare for the new growing season of landscape plants. They will arrive by the 1st of March.

Sinkhole in the greenhouse 
Bottom 1/3 of pipe was rotted out. Galvanized pipe is guaranteed to last 25 years according to manufacturer’s. This pipe was in the ground for over 50 years

Greenhouse being removed. Greenhouse was built against the building for sunlight maximization, utilization of existing heat source and electricity.

We actually used a walk behind asphalt cutter since we had to cut 440’ of asphalt.

Our initial dig hole to locate our problem. Pipe rotted out at bottom was the verdict.

Guys digging and chipping out old pipe from headwall and enlarging opening for new pipe.

Began project with our backhoe digging the more shallow end to save time when large unit arrived.

Big rig digging.

Rented trackhoe in action working on the large tree root wad.

Large tree root wad at end of pipe that had to be removed. Took Skip over 8 minutes to dig out the remaining stump with the very large trackhoe that was rented

Pipe remnants after being dug out.

We attempted to reduce the total width of the dig but many sections along the building collapsed during the  work on the project.

Soil remnants that will be stored for future use in the back of the range.

Gravel used to help backfill the pipe. Most of this material was used and  recycled from the MSD project that was done along the metro link tracks and 1 fwy in 2012

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Storm Drain Repair Maintenance Parking Lot

Video showing the work that is beginning near our maintenance building. Project should take us approximately 2 weeks more or less depending upon weather.  Sink holes are beginning to form in the greenhouse and parking area which has caused this repair. Galvanized pipe installed in the 50's has rotted completely out on the bottom side. Will be replacing with a synthetic pipe last will last by our grandchildren's lifetime.