Friday, February 20, 2015

Root Pruning

No...........we didn't add irrigation.  No............we didn't install drainage.  The trenches you see around the playing field are the result of "Root Pruning".

Before we began, we marked areas that we wanted to trench with paint.  The path should be straight as opposed to curved in order to keep the trench narrow and minimize disruption.  We targeted our worst areas.  In other words we targeted areas where we have the biggest struggle keeping turf happy in the summer when the heat is on and the trees are competing for water.
My friend Jeff from Greenshields brought his really cool machines out to do the work.  Jeff's expertise is drainage and he uses these machines to install miles of drainage every year.  At Tacoma we have very little need for drainage so I haven't been able to use Jeff's talented staff before.  We recently realized that his stuff is also perfectly suited to efficiently prune roots from the fairways.

You can see that the finished trench is very clean and tidy.
This trench on 13 was the most impressive.  Here we were pruning poplar roots which are very aggressive.  This fairway is so hard to keep green in the summer because of the encroaching poplar roots.  I expect to see a huge improvement here this coming summer.
Look at this pic of the trench we cut on 13.  The density of roots from the poplars is really impressive.
After the trenches were cut, Jeff's guys used the side shooter to backfill the trenches.
Then they put the packer-roller-thingy on the really cool skid-steer and packed the sand into the trenches.  It was really impressive to see how Jeff and his guys did 1500 feet of trench in 8 hours.  What's even more impressive is Jeff says he can double his productivity next time now that we have run through the process this year and figured out ways that we can improve on it.  I'm hoping that we see a huge improvement from the root pruning and that we can just get on a schedule to do a day of pruning each spring.  Here's a cool short video of the process.


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