Monthly Archives: December 2014

Windstorms, Fall and Fir Needles

80 foot fir tree damaged in windstorm at Gold Mountain Golf Club

There is a reason this time of year is called fall. Trees are falling! Branches, leaves and needles are falling! It seems like just when we get everything cleaned up, there comes another windstorm and it starts all over.

These pictures are of an 80 foot tall fir tree that snapped off in a recent windstorm. This happens more on the Olympic Course as the trees are tall and the branches are all near the top causing them to really sway in a strong wind. The trees on the Cascade Course are shorter but are heavily branched. When we have a wind event, some of the branches that fall from these trees are so big we have to cut them up to remove them.

Snapped fir tree after windstorm

Snapped fir tree after windstorm

One real problem we have is the falling fir needles on the greens.  They are so small that our mowers don’t pick up very many and the blowers don’t move them very well. We have started using our brush reels on our mowers and they work great. These reels are used to mow up excess sand after aerification, but we have discovered another use for them now! The mowers work much  faster than blowing.

When we are not cleaning up from windstorms, we are edging cart paths and mowing down the native areas on the Olympic Course. We are also limbing up trees on the Cascade Course so we can mow under them without getting smacked in the face by low hanging branches!