Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winter Damage

Winter is a tough time on the golf course for many reasons, but the Elk add another dimension to an already difficult situation. Mother Nature throws many different challenges at us each year some are easy to deal with and others are not. The Elk on the other hand are hard to deal with because you know it is inevitable that they will cause damage but the question is how much.

Even with the prolonged snow cover this year the Elk were still able to cause significant damage to numerous areas throughout the golf course. The damage ranges from broken tree limbs, urine burn,tearing up the turf and leaf shearing.

This year we have numerous areas in which "shearing" occurred, this is a term I will use to describe how the hooves shear or cut of the dormant turf. This is most problematic on greens where the turf must be at the highest quality at all times.

Fortunately most of the "shearing" only damaged the leaf tissue and did not remove the crown of the plant. The crown is where the transition from roots to green colored food-producing stems and leaves occur. The crown is located at the bottom of the plant, right at the soil line. If the crown is damaged the likely hood for turf problems is significantly increased.

Close Up Of A Sheared Area

Upon closer inspection of the sheared areas a lot of new leaf growth is visible which is very encouraging. Any areas that do not make it will be seeded or plugged out to properly repair the damaged areas.