Root Pruning in January

We have some serious competition with tree roots in certain areas of the golf course because of the close proximity of trees. I purposefully left the two large oaks on either edge of the practice putting green some 10 years ago when we cleared the woods and built it. I thought they framed the green nicely from the clubhouse. Yet I still have the reputation as a "tree hater", go figure. Well for the first five years we had little issue other than the dropping of leaves, branches, acorns on the green surface. The last five years have been another story. Every year it is more difficult to keep the turf healthy adjacent to these trees. We did some root pruning this spring on the first green and then the entire length of the eighth hole. We never found the time to do this putting green. Yesterday we borrowed a wire locater and painted the irrigation wires and pipe so we could pick a spot to trench.
Will running sod cutter
Kevin removing frozen sod

The first step is to cut the sod and then remove it. We then run the trencher in the exposed area cutting through any roots. The trencher can cut through some pretty thick roots.

The next step is to fill the trench back in and put the sod back. If the roots were cut and no irrigation components then all is successful and we should get about five years of good growing before the roots encroach back into the green surface.

Essentially finished product.

Notice the weak turf area. You can still see the aerification holes and a few of the cup cutter plugs we took from the nursery to patch the thinnest spots. When we pulled the plugs out they were mostly tree root mass and not soil or grass roots. The root pruning will allow the turf to recover and thrive without the competition of tree roots.

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