Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wetting Agents

Wetting agents are commonly used on golf courses to deal with hydrophobic soil conditions. Soils that are hydrophobic actually causes water to collect on the surface rather than infiltrate into the ground due to a repelling of the water from the soil particle.

We routinely use wetting agent products to reduce the surface tension in the soil that will allow for better water penetration. These hydrophobic conditions that exist are magnified by the presence of sodic soil conditions which is a problem we deal with on a daily basis.

Newly sodded areas on the course are commonly drenched with a wetting agent to help with moisture retention so that a quick establishment can take place.

Wetting Agent Drench Being Applied To New Sod

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tees Are Open

The newly resurfaced Two Pine tees on holes #11 and #18 are now open for play. Additionally the other newly constructed tees on holes #3,#7,#13 and #18 are also open and ready for play. I hope these improvements enhance your golfing experience, now allowing more teeing options for both men and women alike.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Following Directions

Throughout the golf course you will find many areas that have some sort of signage or ropes to direct carts away from specific areas. These items are in place to protect heavy traffic areas from excessive damage from golf cart traffic. Native areas has its own signage stating “keep Out” for golf cart traffic in particular. This is done because the native grasses do not have the ability to with stand cart traffic of any kind.

Cart Tracks Through Native Areas

After a busy weekend of play the golf course often looks like a war zone come Monday morning in particular. The amount of cart tracks that go everywhere is a sight to be seen. Unfortunately much of the signage is ignored and or taken town and the result that carts go where they shouldn't’t.

Cart Traffic Patterns From Heavy Play

Ropes and Stakes Blatently Driven Over

The signage that is on the course is there for a reason, it is there to protect areas and make the golf course better for you and fellow members to enjoy. It is not designed to be there to annoy or cause any hardship for you while playing your round of golf. By protecting heavy traffic areas on the course we are only trying to improve your golf course.

I have already touched on several of these topics before regarding golf cart etiquette in a previous post, i encourage you to go back and take another look at it here

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Home lawn Care Made Easy

Everybody wants their home lawn to look as good as the golf course but are not sure how to achieve the results. Maintaining a great looking and healthy home lawn takes time and effort. However, if your goal is an attractive looking, healthy lawn with a minimal amount of effort, it can be accomplished using some simple steps. The following is a brief description of those steps in order of importance, with emphasis on minimizing the amount of time and inputs dedicated to your lawn.

1. Mow High as You can
Cool-season lawn grasses such as Kentucky
Bluegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue in Colorado
perform best at a mowing height of 3 inches.
2. Mow frequently
Mow as often as needed to never remove more
than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing. In
other words, if your mower is set at 3 inches, mow
when the grass reaches 4 inches. This might be
twice per week in the early spring and once every
2 to 3 weeks in the summer.
3. Return the clippings
Bagging the clippings increases the time and
effort needed for mowing. Leaving the clippings
returns valuable nutrients and does not harm the
turf. Mulching mowers are effective for returning
clippings, but older side-discharge mowers will
also work acceptably.
4. Proper Fertilization
Fertilizer is food for you your lawn and with out a proper diet your lawn will not be healthy and strong. I f you need three meals a day for healthy nutrition, your lawn needs three meals a year for that same nutrition. This would mean that you should be applying fertilizer three times a year starting early spring , summer and fall. The spring application will help green up your lawn and get it actively growing. Summer fertilizer application should be made carefully so that excessive growth is not produced resulting in more water consumption. Fall fertilization is the most important of the year because it helps the plant build carbohydrate reserves for the next season. Of all the fertilizer applications that can be made to your lawn the fall application is the one that you can least afford to skip.
5. Irrigation
It is best if you water your lawn deep and infrequently. This means Appling water to your lawn every third day with a cumulative total from the three prior days. An example of this would be, rather than watering your lawn every day for 10 minutes per zone water every third day fro 30 minutes per zone. If you have steep slopes that are irrigated it would be best to break the total run times into smaller cycles so that runoff is minimized. Watering your lawn every day is possibly the worst thing that you can do for it by creating a shallow root system and predisposing it to disease pressure.
6. Weed Control
Following the five previous step will allow you to have a thick dense turf which is you best defense for weed intrusion. If weeds are still present than you can make herbicide applications to control them or deepening on the number of weeds present they can be hand pulled. The types of herbicides that can be used range from weed and feed products to selective herbicides that target specific weed types, in many cases, spot spraying a herbicide directly on the occasional weed is all that is needed. Always make sure to read, understand and follow all label instructions when using herbicides.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Latest Tee 2 Green Add

The Country Club at Castle Pines is once again featured in a national advertisement by Tee 2 Green Corporation. The current add is featured in industry trade magazines such as Golf Course Industry. The pictures of the course were taken in a photo and video shoot from the summer of 2006. We were featured due to the overwhelming success we have had with our Bentgrass fairway conversion. Unfortunately the pictures were shot before the bunker renovation had taken place and is a reminder of how much the golf course has been improved since then.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pin Sheets

Today we begin the use of daily pin sheets for the rest of the season. The pin sheets were introduced last season with very positive comments. These sheets have replaced the old pindicators that were the smaller flags located on the flagstick. The use of these sheets has been helpful by providing the player with exact yardage number to the hole location, so that a better club choice can be made.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Party In The Pines

As if things aren’t difficult enough maintaining the golf course with heavy member play, try factoring in unwanted Elk damage. Last night the Elk were very active on the course leaving their trail of destruction over four different holes. We were very fortunate that the herd did not cause more damage than they did. The two greens they traveled over (#7&#11) received only minor damage and most of the repairs were made using a ballmark repair tool. The hoof marks were lifted and pulled back together as if were a ball mark, this damage will grow out in several days.

Hoof Marks Going Across The Green

The damage to the fairways was also minor with no additional work needed to repair the hoof marks that were created. The next time the fairways are mowed the rollers that are on the cutting units will smooth out any of the disturbed areas.

Hoof Marks In The Fairway

The most damage to the course was caused in the waste bunker on #6. All that is required to address this problem is to run the mechanical bunker rake through it and all of the prints and ruts will be smoothed over.

Party At The Beach

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More of The Same

Today brought more of the same problems with the irrigation system with our latest mainline break. For those of you who are counting because I certainly am this takes the total number of mainline breaks to seven for the year. These numbers do not boade well for what the rest of the summer has in store for us since we are only five weeks into the irrigation season.

We will continiue to work diligently keeping the current system operating as best as posible until the time comes that a replacement system is approved. Right now we are able to make these major repairs without puting the rest of the course in jepardy due to the cooler weather we are still enjoying. In order to make these types of repairs we have to shut down large sections of the couse, so when the hot summer temperatures hit we might not be as fortunate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Keeping It Sharp

We have two full time Equipment Manger’s on staff and the majority of their time is spent making sure that everything is cutting perfectly at all times. This is a tremendous undertaking especially after aerification, when abrasive materials such as compost and sand are generously applied to the turf areas.
Greensmower On The Grinder

Changing Bedknives On A Greensmower

Immediately following heavy applications of sand the mowers have to be frequently ground and new bedknives installed in order for them to remain cutting. Even when this is done it remains a challenge maintaining a sharp reel with any traces of sand on the grass surface. The Equipment Manager has to do a lot of filing of the bedknives leading edge in order to have any kind of quality cut taking place.

During the summer when we’re at full staff on any given day there can be as many as 23 mowers in operation with a total of 41 cutting reels. Each of these mowers has to be checked for cut and adjusted before it can be ready to go for the next days mowing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Cut

Today we began to put the course back together from last week’s aerification. In the last several days the course has more closely resembled a war zone with sand, compost and holes everywhere than something that golf is played on.

First Triplex Mowing Stripes on The Fairways

The first mowing after aerification took place today on the tees, fairways and rough. The fairways in particular will be the slowest of the areas to recover due to the nutrient release characteristics of the compost, which tends to be slow and long lasting. It is for this reason that we will mow the fairways without baskets that catch clippings for the first several times. By doing so will allow the compost to work its way into the turf canopy and begin to inoculate the microbial populations and enrich the soil.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weed of The Week

I will be starting a weekly series that covers all of the problem weeds that we deal with in the rocky mountain region. These weeds will include both broad leaf and grassy types of weed species. Technically a weed is a plant that is that is out of place or inconsistent with the desired species.

Of all weeds we deal with on the golf course the Dandelion is one of the most prolific seed producers that contributes to it’s ability to show up most anywhere in the landscape. With that said it is also one of the easiest to control with herbicides that are either pre-emergent or post-emergently applied.

Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion is a widely distributed perennial weed. The mature plant arises from a strong, deep taproot that exudes a milky substance when cut. There is no visible stem. Leaves are sparsely hairy or without hairs, have deeply serrated margins, and are clustered in a rosette at the base of the plant. Dandelion can reproduce from seed almost year-round or it can regrow from its taproot. Bright yellow flower heads, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) across, consist of petal-like ray flowers and are borne singly on the tip of a hollow stalk, 3 to 12 inches (7.5 - 30 cm) long. Seeds are enclosed singly within fruiting bodies and are attached to a long slender stalk that terminates in a parachute-like structure called a pappus. Seeds are transported in the wind.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cart Restrictions

Every year we restrict golf carts to paths only beginning in November and ending in the middle of April. This is done in effort to protect the course from damage caused to the turf by carts when the grass is not actively growing.
The actual design of the golf course contributes to this problem as well, by funneling all cart traffic through limited exit and entry points on and off the cart paths. These areas are managed more intensely than the rest of the rough areas as noted in a previous post.
I know the cart restrictions are frustrating at times, but they are in place so the course will be in better condition for members and guest alike to enjoy. This being said, carts will once again be allowed back on the grass next week.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Seedhead Suppression

One of the biggest challenges in maintaining high quality Bentgrass/ Poa Putting greens is having the two different grass type’s acting as one. Each grass type has its own growth habit and growth rate, and to top it off the Poa Annua is a prolific seedhead producer.

Here at CCCP we have relatively low populations (10%-20%) of Poa Annua on our greens which says a lot for greens that are 23 years old. We have been extremely committed over the years in trying to manage the Poa infestation and have actually reduced the total populations over time.

One of the methods of managing the Poa populations comes through applications of PGR’s (plant growth regulators) for seedhead suppression. These applications are made just before the actual seedheads are visible and if timed right the production of seedheads will not occur. There are several methods for determining the timing such as Degree days and phenological indicators.

Degree -Days
The weather plays a major role in determining the rate of plant growth and development and influences development of insect life cycles and plant disease cycles, which is why trying to make pesticide applications by calendar dates, is not very effective. Degree-day accumulations are a measurement of air temperatures above a predetermined base temperature. Insect development is often tracked according to the accumulation of a specific number of temperature units called growing degree days (GDD), a simple, temperature-derived index. Growth and development of many insects and plants depend upon the amount of heat present in or around the organism. Most plants and animals develop when temperatures fall within a specific range.

Phenological Indicators

While degree days are dependent solely on air temperature, the use of plant phenological indicators takes into account the influence of other climatic factors. They provide an accurate, low-cost predictive tool where weather data is not available or practical to track. Soil and air temperatures, rainfall, humidity and exposure are all contributing factors. Plant phenological indicators reflect the development of insects and plants within the many microclimates in a landscape.
I have found tracking Forsythia bloom to be the most effective tool for timing the applications of PGR’s to our location.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Aerification By The Numbers

The aerification process has many moving parts that are all interconnected and making sure that everything goes off with out a hitch is the hardest part. The logistics of moving materials around the course is one of the most time consuming things involved in successfully executing the aerification process. Materials such as sand and compost have to be staged at strategic locations throughout the course, so that the valuable time is not lost in transport. This has become more difficult in recent years due to the development of many of the home sites around the course that have been previously used as staging areas.

The following are the numbers behind the aerification process over a three day period of time.

Man hours = 720
Number of aerification holes in greens alone = 10,290,000
Sand topdressing applied = 75 tons
Compost applied to the fairways = 200 cubic yards

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Aerification: The Process

Each area on the golf course is treated differently, but the end result is all the same. We are trying to alleviate the surface compaction that exists on each of the play areas so that the plant is better equipped to perform well for the upcoming season.

The process begins with an application of sand to the surface before they are aerified. This is done so that the newly created holes are not closed immediately by the weight of the equipment applying the sand. An additional benefit of this is that the sand on the surface is forced down into the profile by the aerifier tines. After aerification has been completed and the sand is dry the greens are drug with a coco mat to fill the holes with sand.
Applying Sand To The Green

Aerifying The Green
Close up of Aerification Holes

Final Product

The fairways were de-thatched rather than aerified so that the surface disruption is not as significant. Typically the fairways are only aerified in the fall. The Graden verticutter was set to a depth of 1” below the surface and was done in two directions to remove maximum amount of thatch without causing surface damage. The thatch was drug with a steel mat to break up the debris and the remainder was then blown off. Next the Bentgrass seed was spread and compost was applied on top. After the compost material was dry, the fairways were once again drug in with a steel mat to evenly distribute the seed compost mix.

Verti-Cutting Fairways

Close Up Of Thatch Removed From Fairway
Seeding The Fairways
Spreading Compost

Dragging In The Compost

The tees were treated in a similar manor as the fairways, but with out the compost application being made.

This whole process takes a staff of 20, every bit of three days to complete with good weather. Throw in the delays we experienced this spring and the task becomes rather challenging to say the least. I hope this gives everybody a feel for what has taken place on the golf course for the last three days.

Aerification Day Three

The weather has held for the early portion of the day and has allowed us to continue making progress. With that being said we will still not be able to finish seeding and composting fairways #13 and #16 due to the approaching storm. High winds have once again shut down the seeding operation, which in turn shuts down the compost application to the fairways.
The seed is applied to the fairways first and the compost is applied on top of the seed to act as a cover that will help with germination. Since we are unable to follow this sequence will be forced to complete the operation when the weather will allow. Hopefully we will be able to complete the fairways this coming Friday or worst case next Monday.

In effort to put the course back into play the greens have been mowed to clean up the extra sand that was still on the surface. Other cleanup items that are taking place are that all of the plaques and yardage makers on the tees and fairways are being edged and debris removed from them.

Once the golf course opens back up for play you will be surprised how well the greens will roll for just being aerified. The fairways will look a little of the brown side due to the compost remaining on the surface. As the fairways begin to actively grow the compost will work its way down the canopy and no longer be visible.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Aerification Day Two Continiued

The time I thought we were going to make up did not happen due to the extremely high winds from an approaching cold front. The high winds slowed progress of the seeding operation on the fairways. Bentgrass is an extremely small seed (approximately 6 million seed per pound) and is highly susceptible to being blown away from the intended area of application. This was even more of a factor since we are broadcasting the seed rather than applying it with a drop spreader. We were unable to apply seed to fairways #13 through #18. As a result the compost application was also not made to those fairways. We will try again in the morning and see what kind of progress can be made before the storm hits.

Bentgrass Seed Being Applied With a Broadcast Spreader

Aerification Day Two

Day two begins with great weather and no frost so work began immediately in the morning. The forecast is calling for snow tomorrow so that ads to our uphill to struggle to complete aeration in time to open for play Thursday morning.

We have had some mechanical issues today that have further slowed the process, but we are hoping to make up lost time by working through lunch. The staff will take lunch in shifts so that equipment does not stop operating at any time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Aerification Day One

Today was the first day of spring aerification and it got off to a shaky start to say the least. The temperature this morning was 28 degrees with a heavy frost and to top it off snow was still on the ground from the storm from Thursday of last week. It is not often that you have to shovel off greens before you can aerifiy them, but today that is exactly what happened.
Shoveling Off The Snow From The Putting Green

We finally hit our stride about mid morning with all operations such as aerifing greens, topdressing greens, Gradens on tees and verti-cutting fairways all started progressing through the golf course.

Gradens On Tees

Aerifing Greens
Verti-Cutting Fairways

Let’s hope tomorrow's predicted good weather holds, so that we can make up some lost time from the delays we encountered today.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Benefits of Aerification

Aerification is the mechanical process of creating air space in the soil that promotes a healthy root system.

Turfgrass on Golf courses sustain a significant amount of stress and constant pounding due to cart traffic, foot traffic, and maintenance equipment. By removing cores from the compacted soil, an infusion of air, water, and nutrients enhance the turf by bringing a resurgence of growth, and keeping the turf durable during stressful conditions.

When is Aerification Beneficial?

Aerification, can be beneficial at any time of the year. The most popular times for Aerification are in the spring and fall months.

What Types of Aerification are Available?

-Solid tine: No cores are physically removed from to soil to a depth of 4-6 inches.
-Hollow tine: Cores are physically removed from the soil to depth of 4-6 inches.
-Needle point: These types of tines are extremely small and allow for rapid recovery.
-Deep tine: Can penetrate anywhere from 5-14 inches (depending on soil conditions)
- Hydrojecting: An injection of water through the surface creating aeration holes.
- Graden: This Is a type of vertical aerification that only goes to a depth of 1”, but it removes a large amount of surface material.

Aerification should be a part of every Turfgrass maintenance program because it is absolutely necessary for maintaining healthy Turfgrass. Failure to perform this simple maintenance can result in poorly drained soil, thin Turfgrass stands, and continued problems with disease.

The bottom line is that aerification is an necessary evil and with out it high quality turfgrass conditions cannot exist.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Getting Away From The Augusta Syndrome

This year we will be making some agronomic changes to the golf course that will make it more player friendly. The first change will be to the height of cut in the fairways.
For the last five years we have maintained an extremely low height of cut .300” in the fairways as a part of the Bentgrass conversion. Now that the process is over we will be raising the height to .400” making the lies in the fairways not as tight.

The next change that will be happening is a reduction in the water applied to the golf course to help improve the playability. Previously an emphasis was placed on having the entire course green i.e. looking like Augusta National. Both the Green Committee and Board have supported agronomic changes for the upcoming season with the color of brown being acceptable. At this time the current irrigation system does not allow for a separation of irrigation areas such as rough only or fairways only. What has been happening is that the rough has a higher water requirement than the Bentgrass fairways so heads have to be run that water both areas. The problem with that situation is that the rough is getting the water that it needs, while the fairways are getting too much.
This problem is being dealt with in the proposed new irrigation system design by creating separate watering areas. We will have the ability to water each area such as greens, tees, fairways or rough all separately based on the individual water requirements.

Golf Digest is making a change in this direction as well with how their course rankings are done. The old definition asked panelists, "How would you rate the playing quality of tees, fairways and greens when you last played the course?" The new definition reads, "How fast, firm and rolling were the fairways, and how firm yet receptive were the greens on the date you played the course?" This definition has nothing to do with the color of the grass or the perfection of a lie. It rewards courses that water less (but sensibly) and makes it easy for panelists to evaluate conditions on the basis of golf shots. This is a very positive step in the right direction getting away from the Americanization of golf.

There are a lot of things that are good about Augusta National, but there are also unrealistic expectations that are borne from the golfing nation watching the Masters every year.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Soil Management

This year we have been experimenting with a new chemical product that claims to help reduce sodium and bicarbonate levels in the soil. As you know the effluent water we irrigate with is extremely high in both of these elements. After years of irrigation with this water the soils have taken on the same characteristics found in the water. We have been applying materials to offset these problems for many years with varying degrees of success.

The combination of high Bicarbonate and Sodium levels in the soil creates a cementing of the soil particles that does not allow for adequate drainage and nutrient uptake. Add this factor to our severely contoured site and it makes it even more difficult to achieve any kind of water penetration into the soils. This effect is often seen where the mounded rough areas are dry and low lying fairway areas are wet due to a lack of water penetration and water sheet flowing down to the lowest point.

Initially the product is applied every 7 days for three weeks and then once a month thereafter. I will be taking additional soil test to analyze the efficacy of this new product and if any positive changes occur, I will begin to expand the use of it throughout the course.

Product Being Applied To the Greens
Watering Product Into The Soil Profile

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bunker Etiquette

Even though bunkers are technically hazards great care must be taken so that players immediately behind you are not unduly penalized by poor bunker etiquette. Below are several things you can do to help minimize the damage that occurs to the bunker itself.

1) Try to enter and exit the bunker from the point that's closest to your ball, but most level to the adjacent playing surface. Don't try to climb out by going up a steep bunker face (you can damage the lip of the bunker and displace too much sand).

2) Always rake the bunker immediately after your shot.

3) Be careful not to pull excess sand to (or over) the lip of the bunker. The best practice is to alternate between pulling sand toward you and pushing it back with the tines of the rake, thus making a relatively even surface without displacing too much sand.

4) According to the USGA, the guideline for placement of bunker rakes is "out and down." The rake should be placed outside the bunker, lying flat on the ground, and pointed in the direction of play (parallel to the likely flight of the ball).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Respect The Golf Course

After a busy weekend of play on the golf course it is extremely frustrating to see the lack of care taken replacing divots and repairing ball marks. My staff and I go to great lengths to have the course in the best possible condition every day, and at times like this it seems that our work is for nothing.

A Close Up View Of An Un-Repaired Ball Mark

On #16 green alone I counted 21 completely un-repaired ball marks which represents 8% of the total play over the weekend. If you carry that math forward for the entire season with 27,000 totals rounds played, that means each green will have 2,160 un-repaired ball marks. The grand total of un-repaired ball marks on all 18 greens would add up to a staggering 38,880 for the year. This is your golf course, so please do your part and replace your divots and repair your ball marks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Time to Get Growing

Fertilizer Being Applied To The Rough

Fertilizer is any material that supplies one or more of the essential nutrients to plants. They typically provide, in varying proportions, the three major plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium: N-P-K), the secondary plant nutrients (calcium, sulfur, magnesium), and sometimes trace elements (or micronutrients) with a role in plant nutrition: boron, chlorine, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum.

Fertilizers can be classified into one of two categories: organic or synthetic. Organic fertilizers are derived from living or once living material. These materials include animal wastes, crop residues, compost and numerous other byproducts of living organisms. Synthetic fertilizers are derived from non-living sources such as ammonia, ammonium sulfate, and urea which are by-products from the oil and natural gas industry.

Benefits of Organic Fertilizers
There are many advantages that come from the use of organic fertilizers. One advantage of organic materials is that they provide beneficial organic matter that can improve the soils water and nutrient holding capacity. This organic matter also creates an environment that encourages beneficial soil organisms. Another advantage is that organic materials take longer to breakdown and release nutrients. This creates a slow-release situation that provides nutrients over a longer period of time and can also help in reducing the loss of nutrients to leaching.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ips Beetle Management

Proactive Treatment
Here at The Country Club were are very proactive in the treatment of our Ponderosa Pines that exist on the golf course. Each year we contract to spray all of the Pines as a preventive attempt to properly manage the Forrest. These insecticidal drenches are applied to the tree needles as well as the trunk and bark areas.

Symptoms of Ips Beetle Infestation
As adult Ips beetles enter trees and tunnel, a yellowish- or reddish-brown boring dust is produced and accumulates in bark crevices or around the base of the tree.
Small round holes in the bark of infested trees indicate the beetles have completed development in that part of the tree and the adults have exited. The presence of these holes peppering the bark show the beetles have moved to another part of the same tree or to neighboring trees.

These symptoms may be limited to parts of the tree, such as a single branch or the top. However unlike mountain pine beetle, infestation by Ips beetles does not necessarily mean the whole tree will die, but over time, attacks may progress as later generations “fill” the tree and then ultimately the host can die.

To prevent Ips beetle attacks, use practices that promote vigorous tree growth. Properly siting trees in landscape plantings is important to allow optimal growing conditions as the tree matures. Freshly-cut material that results from pruning or thinning practices should be removed from the vicinity of valuable trees. Never stack green or infested coniferous wood next to living coniferous trees.
Trees at risk of Ips attack include newly transplanted trees, trees suffering root injuries from construction, and trees surrounded by large breeding populations of Ips beetles. These types of trees can benefit from preventive insecticide applications.
Insecticides are used as drenching preventive sprays on the trunks and larger branches. These insecticides need to be applied prior to adult beetle infestation. (Remember that overwintering beetles begin emerging in spring as soon as daytime temperatures consistently reach 50 F to 60 F.) However, timing can be difficult to determine since Ips beetles can have multiple, overlapping generations and life cycles. Adults have been observed entering trees during warm days as early as late-February on through November. Because of this extended activity, two treatments (early spring and summer) may be needed to protect trees during high-risk conditions.

Ips Quick Facts...
• Ips is a common group of bark beetles that infests pine and spruce trees.
• Ips beetles rarely attack healthy trees. Most problems with Ips occur to newly transplanted pines or when plants are under stress.
• Several generations of Ips can occur in a season.
• There are 11 species of Ips beetles found in Colorado.

W. Cranshaw, Colorado State University Extension entomologist and professor, bioagricultural sciences and pest management; and D.A. Leatherman, Colorado State Forest Service entomologist (Retired). This fact sheet was produced in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service. 12/02. Revised 11/06.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pesticide Usage

The Facts About Golf Course Pesticides

Golf Courses are:
• Community green spaces that provide recreational opportunities and also offer and enhance wildlife habitats.
• "Air conditioners" that produce vast amounts of oxygen while cleansing the air of pollution and cooling the atmosphere.
• Water treatment systems: Healthy turfgrass is an excellent filter that traps and holds pollutants in place; courses actually serve as catch basins for residential and industrial runoff; many courses are effective disposal sites for effluent wastewater.
• Among the best ways to reclaim and restore environmentally damaged sites, such as landfills.
• Businesses that contribute substantially to communities through employment, taxes, property value improvement and enormous charitable support.
Scientific Data:
• Independent university research supports the fact that well-managed golf courses do not pose significant risks to environmental quality, wildlife or human health.
• The modern pesticides and fertilizers used to maintain healthy golf course turf have been thoroughly tested and are considered safe when used according to label directions.
• A pesticide product today has typically undergone more than 120 studies at a cost of $50 million before it is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Today's Golf Course Superintendents are educated professionals who care about environmental quality.
• Most of today's superintendents have college degrees and substantial continuing education.
• Superintendents are the nation's leading practitioners of integrated pest management, a philosophy that reduces the potential environmental risks of pesticide usage.
• Virtually all golf courses employ at least one state licensed pesticide applicator who is trained in environmentally sound pesticide use.

Are golfers at risk?
• No. There is no scientific evidence that golfers face any chronic health risks from the pesticides used to maintain courses.
• Once a liquid pesticide product is applied and the turf is dry or the product has been watered in, there is very little chance of exposure to golfers or others who enter the area.
• Golfers with possible chemical allergies are always encouraged to contact superintendents to find out what products might be in use.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Time in The Rockies

Here are a few photos that were taken yesterday morning after the spring storm that quickly came and went. It is amazing how peaceful and quiet the golf course looks after a snow fall.