Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Annual Pruning Activities Underway

It's that time of year again when, if you happen to be out walking on the course, you may see guys dangling from trees, and/or see branches scattered about looking as though a micro-burst just ripped through it. I'm happy to say the guys dangling are well trained, professional climbers, securely fastened to ropes, and the "debris field" is the result of their pruning activities.    
Annual Pruning Session Begins

Every year we have a portion of the course pruned to:
  • Remove dead, diseased, or storm damaged branches
  • Repair structural defects
  • Thin the canopies to promote new juvenile growth and reduce shading of turf
  • Shape the canopies to provide balance and improve aesthetic qualities
With nearly 2000 (not including adjacent perimeter) trees on the course it takes approx. 7-8 years to make a complete circuit. We usually have the work performed in specific sections but this year (with the Western Amateur Championship coming) we are altering this and moving around the course addressing areas most in need, and especially where improved light penetration is needed for improved turf health and vigor.

 Pruned material awaiting gathering, hauling, & chipping tasks

Our tree pruning contractor performs all the aerial (climbing) pruning work and our own staff performs ground activities including, lower branch pruning, gathering and hauling pruned materials, and assisting with chipping.

Every year at this time we also determine trees that meet our criteria for removal. It's a system I call the 5 "D's". The "D's" are; Dead or Decayed, Damaged, Diseased, Disfigured, and Disruptive and there are in fact a few trees that meet one or more of these criteria. We're in the process of finalizing a thorough evaluation and I'll soon report (on this blog) trees we will likely remove.


  1. Love the five "D's" as posted by the best "D" at SCC. Thanks Don

  2. Is there any attempt to control the growth of buckthorn, an invasive species?

  3. To Anonymous above, Yes we do try to control buckthorn in certain perimeter areas. We don't have any buckthorn in play areas with the exception of maybe a couple in some landscape area, that eventually will be removed.
    There's a lot along perimeter fencing (which we keep for the screening it provides) and in forest preserve (which we can't really do much about)but we do try to limit it's encroachment. Very prolific species indeed!


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