Sunshine, water and air

Grass needs many things to grow. The title has the three most important fundamentals. I could have said plants and this would be true but lest you all forget I am in the business of growing grass. We play the game of golf on grass and often refer to it it as turf. I certainly never forget that my main focus is growing grass and this gets me the incorrect label of "tree hater". I truly love trees. I enjoy their flowers, even though I am allergic and suffer for weeks in the Spring. I love the shade a big tree provides on a hot day. I love the Fall foliage even though it is a major task to deal with all the fallen leaves. The game was developed in a coastal region with little or no trees and lots of wind. The game is best played walking and being challenged by the course and the elements which change daily. Trees get in the way, muddy the open landscape and add hundreds of thousands of dollars in upkeep to the course over their lifespan.
3 green snow still in the sunny spot? must be a reason.

4 green

8 green

Putting green and 9
Every USGA seminar I have been to discusses the merits of tree removal. Every seminar about plant (grass) health I have ever attended starts with "Be sure you have the correct growing environment" (see title). If you surround a tee or green with trees you choke the airflow, create shade and change the environment. The best thing we could do to use less inputs to maintain our course is get sunlight onto the grass. More sun = less fungus = less chemicals needed to fight them. The most common question I receive from homeowners regarding their trouble with lawn care involve shade. My answer is always simple get more sun and change the way you water if there is automatic irrigation. Am I suggesting in this post we defoliate the property? No but, I am trying to get people to remove the emotion that is placed on every single tree and the thought of their demise. I could try with a little humor from one of the funniest satirists in our business: Randy Wilson but I am sure that some will find his style of humor offensive, so I will add a second link not to offend again but to try and loosen your funny bone: Number 2 Be sure to watch the videos as that is where the true genius lies.
The inspiration for this post came from driving the course this morning and seeing all the shade covering the greens. Actually the shock of seeing snow (since I had not been around the course in a couple of days being married to the power washer doing clubhouse decks) really set me off. The thought I wanted to get across was the importance and need for sunlight all year. If we have Winter shade it keeps things colder and wetter slowing the melting and ability to open. It can also lead to ice formation and winterkill. As the course matures the trees get taller and create more shade. Every landscape is an ecosystem that is continually growing and changing. To think it is stagnant and the removal of a tree will ruin the system is fool hardy. The system changes often as the system adapts to the changes that take place. We should work as best we can to be in harmony with Nature but always remember our primary focus is to grow healthy turf.

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