Depending on the type of course, trees can play an important role on a golf course. If not managed effectively however, trees or roots can change soil characteristics whilst the canopy or fallen leaves can cause shaded areas which in turn can result in problems with airflow, surface dampness and disease. Orange Plant are firmly established in the hire, sale, service and support for a range of forestry machinery including Wood Chippers and Stump Grinders to provide greenkeepers with the tools they need to get the best from the trees on their course.
At Penn Golf Club near South Staffordshire, a comprehensive programme of tree maintenance is underway, overseen by Golf Course Manager, Paul Mills. “We are a heathland course with some wooded areas which are basically just neglected, overgrown heath space. We are currently 6 years into a 10 year Higher Level Stewardship agreement with Natural England to remove the woodland and revert the area back to open heathland.”
Paul estimates that to date, they have felled and removed approximately 1000 trees, which has come with a few problems. “Initially, with any mention of removing trees, we faced resistance and confrontation to the plans but it was a case of explaining the end goal and getting people to notice that it was the right type of maintenance required to better the course” says Paul. “Once people have seen the finished results, the feedback has been positive and the work has been well received.”
A task of this size has also required the use of specialist tools, one of which being a stump grinder which Paul has regularly hired from Orange Plant. Orange Plant is the only European partner for the highly acclaimed Carlton Range, from which Paul has used the SP4012D and SP5014TRX models. Using a stump grinder eliminates the need to burn, dig or treat tree stumps with chemicals. The powerful grinding teeth reduce tree stumps to ground level and below, which allows replanting or ground preparation for just about any purpose. Paul adds, “Using these machines to remove the stump has meant we can get straight on with other machinery to start preparing the land for further works. Also, some of the trees that we’ve felled have been close to the playing line meaning we needed to eliminate the stump as quickly as possible to reduce trip and other health & safety risks.”
They have removed the majority of stumps on the site using the Carlton machines which have impressed Paul and his team. “Both machines have been excellent, more than capable for the job at hand. In the past we had used a manual stump grinder, so using ones with a remote control has made the job a lot easier and has meant we can eliminate more stumps per day. The 5014TRX in particular has been fantastic because of the tracked base which has meant we can get into all kinds of undergrowth and scrub.”
Penn Golf Club www.penngolfclub.co.uk
Orange Plant www.orangeplant.co.uk