Stowe Country Club Trees

The following bullet points are the foundation of our tree management program at Stowe Country Club. The strategy is to keep maintenance costs down, maintain good turf quality, maintain healthy trees, create and maintain the wonderful vistas, and eliminate obstructed tee shots.
  • Tree plantings predominated by white pine, red pine, and spruce trees (all conifers).
  • These trees were used due to their cheap cost and quick growth.
  • The over reliance of pine and spruce species has lead to an increase in disease potential. Many trees are showing damage from Diplodia blight.
  • A more diversified tree population reduces concerns of catastrophic tree loss due to pathogens or insect pests.
  • Where existing tree stands provide crucial strategic importance or screens, a diversified tree replacement program will be considered using deciduous species.
  • Pine and spruce trees create a large amount of ground litter from branch, cone and needle shedding. This leads to direct maintenance costs due to the need to remove such litter for playability. Removal of certain trees will keep maintenance costs down.
  • Root extrusion from soil surface has caused a major playability and safety issue.
  • The most effective and sustainable way to maintain trees next to golf turf is to create mulch beds. These beds will hide tree litter and cover exposed roots. High priority tree beds will be identified and maintained.
  • Current maintenance program is to trim the grass below trees. This requires many man hours. Installation of tree beds will assist in keeping maintenance costs down.
  • Absence of tree beds has negatively impacted health of trees due to lack of soil nutrients available.
  • Conifers grown in open or “pasture” settings produce prolific branching. This branching weakens over time and is prone to failure when impacted by wind or ice storms. This loss of limbs after storm events creates excessive maintenance costs due to cleanup.
  • Trees and golf course turf do not coexist very well due to the competition for water and nutrients.
  • Trees use more water than turf. This leads to browned out turf on the edges of golf holes in midsummer due to trees out-competing turf for water. Our current center row irrigation does not provide sufficient irrigation to the edges of golf holes to help the turf compete with the trees for water.
  • Coniferous trees are shallow rooted. This shallow rooting disrupts the turf surface with exposed roots. These shallow roots steal water and nutrients from turf. A root pruning program will be implemented to control root encroachment.
  • These fast growing softwood trees have begun to impact play due to size and improper placement. These overgrown trees now create “forced draws or fades”. Most impact is on tee shots. 
  • Unnecessary tree plantings of these fast growing coniferous trees have blocked beautiful vistas. These views are a very important design aspect of Stowe Country Club and they should not be lost to trees.
  • The thought that tree removal will make the course easier is untrue.  USGA Article