Monthly Archives: July 2013

Using Crumb Rubber on Golf Courses: What is success?

A profile of a ‘rubber thatch layer’ in a perennial ryegrass/Kentucky bluegrass stand. Photo courtesy New Dimensions Turf

By J. Tim Vanini, PhD

This author believes defining ‘success’ is important. Too often, when new products or techniques are discussed, the mentality can be this will make the turfgrass bulletproof (especially in the context of synthetic turf).

This author was talking to a superintendent last year about trying one tonne of crumb rubber for free for the end of the cart paths. This author asked him what deciding factor would make him use more crumb rubber, to which he replied he wanted his cart paths to always look good. Instead of re-sodding them two to four times annually, if he only had to re-sod once annually or once every two years and manage the turf, that would be success for him and he would buy more.

This was a good answer. Grass is neither bulletproof nor synthetic. It wears, rips, and thins out. Hence, turfgrass on a golf course has to be renovated, restored, and maintained constantly at a high level, and this is the golf course superintendent’s job. Crumb rubber can be a great tool to have in one’s management arsenal, and should be considered for high-traffic situations in any turfgrass environment.

Read the full article: Using Crumb Rubber on Golf Courses

Designing with Trees in Mind: Preserving trees or adding new ones

Root exploration using a hydro-vac (left) exposes roots before excavation with machinery. Careful root pruning (right) eliminates further root damage which would otherwise be caused by tearing, pulling, or fracturing of roots, reducing tree injury. Photo © Philip van Wassenaer

By Alex Satel, MFC, and Philip van Wassenaer, B.Sc., MFC

Trees are immensely valuable resources. This is especially true in urban areas, where residents benefit greatly from the ecological services trees provide. As such, they are worthy of the same level of consideration as any other components of site design.

Whether the issue is to preserve existing trees on the site or to incorporate new trees into site design, an arborist or urban forester should be involved at the front end of the design process and throughout the duration of site development, working in concert with site designers, engineers, planners, and construction personnel. One should keep in mind the wide range of factors affecting the trees on development sites will significantly contribute to the successful outcome of any site design.

Read the full article: Designing with Trees in Mind: Incorporating trees into site development

Designing with Trees in Mind: Incorporating new trees into site design

Optimal soil structure for tree growth. Image courtesy Urban Forest Innovations Inc.

By Alex Satel, MFC, and Philip van Wassenaer, B.Sc., MFC

Understanding tree requirements for growth and survival is critical to effectively integrate new trees into site design. These requirements must be provided by the tree’s habitat; otherwise, plantings on the site will not achieve their full genetic potential and, as they languish, will result in increased maintenance costs and an ultimately failed landscape and site design.

Three critical factors must be kept in mind when new trees are being incorporated into a site design: above-ground, below-ground, and tree-specific factors.

Read the full article: Designing with Trees in Mind: Incorporating trees into site development

Celebrating the Dog Days of Golf: Dylan

Photo courtesy Justin Westerink

By Blair Adams

Justin Westerink, assistant superintendent at Dalewood Golf Club in Port Hope, Ont., is a big Bob Dylan fan, so much so that when he got his black Labrador retriever he named him after the iconic singer.

Fast forward one and a half years to today, and Dylan can be found hard at work shadowing Westerink as he performs his daily duties.

“He usually hangs around the shop after we do our morning rounds so he does not steal anyone’s ball or interrupts their game,” explains Westerink.

However, on rainy days as the number of players dwindles, Dylan is given free run of the course, and he delights in running up and down the fairways and chasing the geese.

“He is a valued member of the grounds crew,” says Westerink. “He is great at boosting staff morale.”

Read the full article: Celebrating the Dog Days of Golf

Going the Distance

Photo courtesy Doug Meyer

By Blair Adams

When he’s not on the golf course he has meticulously maintained for over a decade, superintendent Doug Meyer can be found playing hockey or enjoying a round of golf with the boys. But when you have been involved in sport and the local community as much as Meyer, the ‘boys’ just so happen to be some of the biggest names in professional hockey—Patrick Roy, Guy Lafleur, and P.K. Subban, to name a few.

However, Meyer takes hanging out with some of the Montreal Canadiens’ elite all in stride; his commitment to excellence and his job remain at the fore of most everything he does, which is what you would expect from an individual who has devoted nearly 40 years of his life to the golf course maintenance profession.

Read the full article: Going the Distance