Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weather Extremes Continue

It's been one of the oddest weather years I can remember in many years. Cold and wet for much of the spring, a few record hot days sprinkled in, then temperatures cooled off again, then, as summer began, two wind storms ripped though the course, and now as of Independence Day weekend, high temperatures and record heat indices are expected. Will conditions ever moderate? Less just hope that the month of July is somewhat normal without extreme heat, extreme humidity, extreme wind speed, or extreme rainfall or lack thereof!

Last Tuesday night high winds in excess of  70 mph caused tree loss, power loss, and tree debris to be strewn about the course. Six trees were destroyed, either blown over or split apart and many others lost significant limbs and numerous small branches. Our on-going tree management efforts which includes maintenance pruning and removals as necessary, surely limited the amount of tree damage we might otherwise would have received. We lost power to the Grounds Operation Center (and also the Helps Quarters, Paddle Facility, Irrigation Pumping Station, and Half Way House -all fed off the same power lines) and it remained off until Friday morning. Of all of these areas, what can potentially be devastating in an extended outage is lack of power to the Irrigation Pumping Station. Obviously, without power, pumps cannot run and irrigation cannot proceed. If weather conditions at the same time are hot and dry, turf can be severely stressed and turf loss could occur. In spite of bad luck having the storm occur and cause two full days of course clean-up for our grounds staff, the good luck was that it was cloudy, cool, and turf did not require any irrigation. A good thing indeed!

 The "Debris Field" June 22

The old apple tree near Half Way House, uprooted

 Willow on #11 lost approx. 1/3 of canopy. Perhaps time to remove in winter??

   Half of the canopy of this Hackberry on #7 was split, disfiguring to point that removal was necessary

Another example of large limbs that fell. This is an Ash on #15

Ryan and Gus in full "buck-up" mode

After a few long days of clean-up the course was back to normal, but then another wind storm came through this past week leaving behind another deposit of branches and leaves requiring yet another day of debris removal. Our Grounds Staff once again rose to the challenge and not only prepared the course for a busy holiday weekend but also spent a good portion of the day cleaning debris. Three clean-up day's in a week and a half is more than enough for a while! A little moderation on the weather front would be nice for a change!

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