Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Thorough Clearing

With pruning activities continuing throughout the course, one location where we have recently concentrated is the area east of #9 tee. This out of play, woody, thicket-like area, has received limited maintenance efforts over the years and upon closer evaluation it was obvious that a thorough clearing was needed.
 Dense thicket of Common Buckthorn

As we inspected this area we found a grouping of older Red Oak, several smaller American Elms, a couple Ash and a couple Hawthorn, but beyond these, the remainder was only the invasive, nuisance weed species, Common Buckthorn. Several of these were fairly large shrubs/small trees but with these removed, the desirable species remaining will have less competition and will be much healthier. Additionally, with improved light penetration we can now plant fescues and other grasses which will be left natural, allowed to produce seedheads, providing a much more interesting landscape.
 Clearing nearly complete. Maintenance pruning in progress
Entire area will be seeded with Fescues and  Little bluestem

 As I mentioned in a response to a comment in the last post, although Common Buckthorn is a non-native, invasive species and competes very aggressively (out-competes in most cases) with nearly all of our more valuable and desirable native species, we still allow it to grow along the perimeter fenced areas for the screening that it provides. As such we have retained a strip along the inside of  the fence for this purpose.

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