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Golf Course Flooding & Debris, Westchester Golf Course

7-30-17 Flood Debris: Where does it go?

The record setting flood of July 13-14 dumped some major sized debris on the course.  In actuality it wasn’t as bad as other floods that we deal with every winter.  The silt wasn’t as deep and we did not have farm field harvest litter (corn stalks and soybean plants) to pick up.

What it did do was drop some large trees and stumps on #14 fairway/rough.  The water height was approximately 3 feet higher than normal flooding which means the debris gets washed from upstream and out of the tree line.

The couple of days after the flood the golfers were telling the ranger and the crew I should leave the large tree in the middle of the fairway and put a plaque on it commemorating the flood of July 2017.  I thought about it but Russ has enough trouble with the fairway yardage posts let alone have to cut around a big tree.

So, where does all of this stuff go?

Small stuff:  Grasses, leaves, any silt/soil, gravel.  The farm debris: (corn stalks are the worst).

We have to let it dry, flail mow it to smaller pieces and then use our power sweeper to pick up what we can.  What is left we pick up by hand.

Small washed debris.  This stuff is hand picked and taken to the compost area by the shop where we stock pile it.

The bunker sand/silt we remove and is part of the mix.

We usually make a single pile to sit for a couple of months to compost.  Then when it gets dry we combine all of it into wind rows and roto-till it to make usable soil.   Let it sit, then we re-till it to make it fluffy.  Then use it under sod, smoothing edges of bunkers that we are removing.  We also use it to add accent mounds.

Tree branches get piled until we get a chance to chip them.

Those chips are then used in areas under trees to keep weeds down and let you find your ball easier.  The right of #18 and driving range.  We are stock piling more chips for the left side of 18.  John Kallies will come out this winter, take down the trees and then we come in to add the chips.  Spot spray to keep weeds under control.

Medium trees:  We cut into log lengths.

We move them to the bottom of the hill by the compost pile.  We hold them there and give them to the crew that burn wood for heat all winter (Jordan).  Larger stuff we take to Gene that lives behind #15 tees.  He uses the wood for heat and has larger equipment and a log splitter able to handle the size.

Very Large stuff: Trees, root balls, etc. (not usable for firewood).

Most of this lands on #14.  We have an area in the trees behind 14 green.  It appears to be an old stream bed from decades ago.  We layer the debris in the low area to decompose naturally.

Now for perspective on large stuff.  The root ball that was on the left of 14.  The forks on the skid steer are 4′ long Trailer 6″ wide, I placed it over the rails to haul it away.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The flood tree from the middle of the fairway.   Looks pretty big but doesn’t have perspective.

The Cart Path is 8′ wide.  The diameter is about 30″.


#14 Fairway Tree


#14 Fairway Tree

That is why we were told to leave it with a plaque.

Mark Novotny CGCS



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