Golf Course Ecology Visits - May 2022
Dendrogram, dendrochronology and dendrophile are all words associated with trees; dendro, in its rawest form, means tree. So, there you have it. If you didn’t know this already, then you’ve learnt something new today. The reason I’ve put these words into this blog is because I have been to well over 400 courses both here in the UK and further afield and one thing is glaringly obvious, and that is golf courses plant trees in stupid places – there, I’ve said it.
For a dendrogram, dendrochronologist and dendrophile like me, it’s quite difficult to develop a woodland management plan where I suggest removing 2/3rd’s of the trees from a course because they were planted behind a green, tee or other similar fine turf area. But that’s what I have to do, and I do not take these decisions lightly! And I really like trees! Another annoyance is finding leylandiis, non-native poplars, eucalyptus and other fast growing sorts that just don’t belong on a golf course. My advice is to look around the site and see what grows naturally and continue with those.
With the Woodland Trust and others giving away free trees again, it won’t be long before they are cut down because they are now clogging-up a drainage system, shedding too many leaves and casting shade – call this blog a warning! And don’t make me say “I told you so”.
I guess I wanted to say that I am available for a quick chat or email where woodlands on courses are concerned; be it planting, management or removal. You never know, it may be that the trees you planted will reach veteran or ancient status and that someday (in about 700 years’ time), someone may be sat beneath it thanking the person who planted it in 2022 – that’s if we don’t cut it down first.
James Hutchinson is BIGGA’s Ecology and Sustainability expert. With over 30 years greenkeeping and ecology experience, including two years at St Andrews Links Trust as their Environmental Officer, he is well placed to offer guidance and advice to BIGGA members