Sunday, July 31, 2011

Course Conditions

#17 Tee
#13 Fairway

July virtually brought us no rainfall through the month with very high temperatures.  Although we had some small areas of turf that suffered under heat stress, increased humidity and timely watering has helped us manage turf water requirements through these tough conditions.  We finally did receive rain which was brought in by storms Wednesday night to Friday morning. The rainfall accumulations were 4" on Thursday and another 1" on Friday, totalling 5" in under 48 hours.  Included are a couple pictures of the course during these rains.   The drainage on the course worked well in moving water off the property and we were able to minimize the amount of standing water in areas that needed assistance.  We will be working hard this week in catching up on our maintenance and mowing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

#17 Tee box

We are currently in the planning phase of building an additional tee box on #17.  This tee box will play 165-175 yards to the center of the green and will have a location that is right of the current men's tee.  This tee will allow us to have a par 3 hole that reachable for events as well as add diversity to the #17th hole for our member's.  The corners of this tee box's approximate location have been painted, the red flag's are only being used for a better visual for the picture.

Heat Stress

So far in July we have had 15 days that have reached into the 90's. With 6 days left, there is a good potential of adding to this total.  Although storms have been all around us we have received only 1/2" of rainfall for the month.   

The humidity and timely watering has kept the golf course in good condition.  We have been irrigating the golf course during the day, this allows us to cool down the turf as well giving the grass plants time to dry.

During our fairway daytime syringe cycles the irrigation sprinklers run for 5 minutes each and will progress individually down the fairway from green to tee. 

Excessive moisture with high overnight and daytime  temperatures provides favourable conditions for many summer turf grass diseases.   We have been treating the golf course preventatively and curatively for these turf diseases. Photo on the left shows a small out break of "brown patch" on #8 Tee, Saturday morning. 


The Weeping Willow in between the range and #2 fairway had a large branch come down due to wind a couple weeks ago.  3 days later after cleaning up the debris from the first limb,  the same tree lost another large branch because of wind.  This tree had ants and decay inside the tree, weakening the tree at the unions of the large branches.  The final result was a removal of the remaining tree and the area has since been sodded into rough grass.  Below are a few pictures of the Willow.

Large Limb #1
Large Limb #2

Little Leaf Linden #18

Last week wind resulted in another tree casualty, blowing down a mature Little Leaf Lindon on the right side of #18.  This tree was planted by spade from it's original location on the driving range years ago.  Although growing well on #18, the root systems of these particular Lindens did not redevelop enough to support the tree in such a wind.  The canopy's of Lindens are very full and have many leaves for the wind to catch onto and add tremendous force. 

Although damage caused by wind, and storms is often inevitable, proper pruning, thinning and inspection of trees is very important for tree health and minimizing potential safety hazards on the golf course. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Conifer Damage

There has been some conifer damage showing up on the golf course.  Most of the damage has appeared as tip burn, although there are a few trees that have more extensive damage.  The Colorado Spruce on #13 tee (photo on right) shows the typical injury we are seeing, where at the end of the tips are wilted and appear a reddish colour. The Norway Spruce on #18 (photo left) has more extensive injury, where most of the tree needles have been effected.  The Evergreen hedge at #1 tee also seems to be showing similar effects.

There has been many recent publications on a new herbicide called "Imprelis", that is available to golf courses and commercial turf markets.  We used this product this year to spray the weeds in the roughs at Forest Lake C.C..  It now has been linked to potentially causing damage to Conifer trees, with Norway Spruce and White Pine sited as being most susceptible.  This herbicide is absorbed through the shoots and roots of weeds, and is believed to be absorbed by surface roots of these conifers triggering the same kill effect.  Not all of our trees have showed signs of injury, and we will be monitoring this situation. 

The advice from many university and industry professionals is to let the trees try to grow through these symptoms before more permanent action is taken.

Attached below is a link to a published article on "Imprelis".

Japanese Beetles


The Little Leaf Lindens, River Birch on #9, New Burr Oak on #9, and Roses on the golf course were sprayed (photo on left) for Japanese Beetle (photo above) on Friday July 8th. The damage to the tree leaves has definitely slowed down, but for the insecticide to work, the beetles have to ingest part of the leaf.  There are still large numbers of these beetles around in the roughs laying eggs.  Along with European Chafer grubs, the Japanese Beetle grubs can also cause tremendous damage to turf roots later in summer if the populations are not controlled.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Walk Mowing Greens

We are putting great focus on having our walkers mowing greens during the months of June, July, and August.  The staff has been training on our walk mowing equipment during June, and you can expect to see the greens frequently hand mowed as the season progresses.   The greens will benefit with decreased compaction from riders and a more uniform cut that our walker mowers can provide.

Japanese Beetles

The life cycle of a Japanese Beetle is like clock work at Forest Lake.  Yearly we can expect to see the adult beetles (photo above on the Lindens beside #16 Tee/#18 Fairway) on July 1rst.  The adults usually are seen in large numbers, and almost have the appearance of a swarm of wasps from a distance.  These insects are NOT harmful to people or animals but instead, cause damage by skeletonizing leaves to a variety of trees and plants.  At Forest Lake C.C. our Little Leaf Linden trees are a primary target.  We will have a tree service spray the trees to eliminate the adult Japanese Beetles from causing tree damage and laying eggs.  During late summer/fall and spring the beetles also can cause damage to turf grass while they are in a grub stage.