Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Root Pruning

Last summer we began experiencing severe drought symptoms on a few of our tees  No matter how much water we applied, these tees would constantly dry out.  After probing around in the soil we realized that the roots from nearby trees had grown into the tee mix and were causing our problem.  After seeing the impact tree roots can have, I realized that certain areas of the rough that consistently burn out during the summer were similarly being negatively effected by tree roots.

To help solve this problem we rented a machine to prune back the tree roots.  Pruning tree roots is a common practice on golf courses.  Traditionally root pruning is performed every 4 or 5 years and is done using a ditch witch trenching attachment.  This method involves first the removing the sod, then digging a trench with a ditch witch.  The open trench is then back-filled with soil, compacted and the sod replaced.  It is a time consuming and labor intensive process.  The machine we rented cuts through tree roots in very little time with minimal labor.  Two large rotating blades slice through the soil and through any tree roots.  All that is left behind are two thin lines in the turf. 

Later this summer as things dry out we will see the benefit of this process.  Without the competition from the tree roots we will have a better chance of maintaining quality turf throughout the summer.

Pruning tree roots

The imants root pruner

Blades of root pruner

No clean up necessary

Easily cuts through large tree roots