Review of Tree Management Plan (TMP) – Year 1

Background:  

The TMP was approved at the Club AGM in December 2018.  The plan initially identified 136 trees almost entirely comprised of Leylandii (hybrids) for either removal or heavy pruning.  A survey identified areas for replacing these with 109 trees.  A commitment was given at the AGM that, at a minimum, all removals would be replaced on a 1 to 1 basis.   Replacement or new plantings would focus on native species.  The TMP also included plans to carry out an inventory of trees on site.

End of Year 1 review  

The focus in year 1 was on preparing a plan for replacement tree stocks to cover removals and for meeting normal new planting requirements. 

A decision was taken to establish a tree nursery as an experiment.  220 bare root native plants were bought in and planted in the nursery (65 Alder/65 Rowan/70 Scots Pine/20 Aspen).  These were supplemented with a donation of 30 (1y/o) Oak and 15 (14 Beech 1oak) grown from seed collected on course. A further 30 regenerated oak beside the 14th Tee box have been identified for transplanting.   The experiment is deemed a success and is now a key feature of the TMP.

The inventory of trees commenced and roughly 50% of trees are logged to date.  There is a lot of work yet to be done but this is not a high priority and can be completed as time permits.

No trees/hybrids were removed in year 1 apart from a handful of losses through windblow/disease. The most notable loss was a large Beech at the entrance which damaged the wall. This was replaced by a juvenile Beech similar to the group planted on 17. The other notable loss was a 300 year old Beech (between holes 3 & 5). A large stump remains and evidence of Butt rot and main trunk rot can be seen.  Unfortunately, this is typical of Beech, internal rot that is not obvious to visual inspection and only shows when what looks like a healthy tree is blown or collapses.

Going Forward year 2

The commitment given at the AGM to replace removals on a 1 to 1 basis is now increased to a 5 (new) to 1 (old).  The plan now is to have 500 new plants at nursery stage by the end of year 2 to meet this commitment.  

Purchase of new bare root plants will include Birch for this dormant season.  Some fast-growing Poplar will also be sourced to be used as short term shelter/screening while the native plants grow. This will allow for the removal of Hybrids that are grouped at one site(s) for later years in the TMP.

A review is currently on-going on updating the original Removals programme. This will be completed by mid-December.  Work will then take place during this winter.  It is envisaged that this will be mainly heavy pruning and possibly a handful of removals.   The review will include identifying locations where filling in by juvenile trees is required (juvenile = similar size trees to the Beech planted this year on the right of 17th).

Two new sites have been identified for a nursery style/final planting place on 17 (left) and between holes 14, 15 & 16.

Finance 2019 & Budget

Costs for the TMP are in line with budget. More details of finance and budgets for the TMP will be presented at the club’s AGM on December 5th.

 

John Curran, Course Chairman, November 2019