Tucked away in a pristine valley just a few minutes from where I live, my home club boasts a beautiful little layout “in nature.” It features a few ponds, a meandering creek, and some exciting elevation changes. It also features – and your home course is probably no different! – plenty of tree-lined fairways that, to a large degree, define the course. The willows, the pines, the poplars, they give the course its character. Its ambiance. Without them the course would be bland and boring.
Obviously, the health of these trees – on your course and mine! – is critical. An unruly stand of dead trees drooping into play, framing a golf hole, just doesn’t work. Nobody wants to see that! Brown and bedraggled trees (that have obvious health issues) are a detriment to the course and the golf experience. They can also be dangerous. You don’t have to be an arborist to know that dead limbs are much more likely to break and fall and, potentially, cause serious injuries, even death. Unfortunately, living trees in a weakened state can pose a similar threat.
Thankfully, there are companies out there that understand how vital the health and aesthetics of the trees are to a golf facility. One such company is Mauget. And they’ve been the leader of tree injection technology for over 60 years.
Based in Arcadia, California (in the Greater Los Angeles area), Mauget, which is pronounced “mo-jay,” has a wide range of products that can be used to bolster and maintain the health of your trees; the life-line of your course. Their proprietary injection system is simple and easy to use. It is a “closed” chemical application system, which means the risk of chemical exposure is greatly reduced. The trees’ natural circulatory system is used to distribute the chemicals. The process is clean, “green,” and extremely effective against countless threats.
Unlike other applications and treatments – such as spraying or other more invasive injection systems – Mauget’s system is environmentally safe and can even be done in during wind and rain events. Designed around Dr. Alex Shigo’s ground-breaking research (Shigo was a biologist with the United States Forest Service and conducted extensive research on tree decay and tree biology), the injection is shallow and small, penetrating just beyond the bark into the tree’s vascular system. No artificial sealing plugs are required.
In terms of how the process plays out on the golf course, there is no danger to golfers, no hazards, and no disruption to play on the course. The golfers will be unaware that these treatments are even going on!
Just like the human body, trees are susceptible to a wide variety of health issues. The list of things that can attack and harm a tree would be pages long. From moths and mites to blight and budworm – and everything else in between – trees can get hit from all angles by many types of enemies. Insects, fungus, wilt, bacteria, and nutritional issues are just a few examples. And Mauget has a product, or a combination of products, that will attack the “attackers,” mitigate the damage, and get your trees looking like the strong and stately “structures” they are meant to be. And, of course, thanks to the injection system, the treatments are discreet and safe. No holes or areas on the golf course will need to be taken out of play when applications are made.
“Mauget is a completely hermetically sealed system, so we can treat trees that are growing up out of the water,” says Joey Galloway, Superintendent at the Connestee Falls Golf Club in Brevard, North Carolina. “The systemic insecticide is injected directly into the tree and translocated throughout the tree’s vascular system. It stays in the tree so there is never any insecticide that can get in the waterway.”
Another significant benefit of the system is the fact that it does not require the use of expensive technical equipment or significant training. It’s simple and easy to use and, in terms of equipment, all that is needed by the grounds crew is a portable electric drill. So the system becomes quick and very cost effective. The crew can treat trees at the first sign of a problem.
Not surprisingly, given the “medicinal” characteristics of the system, Mauget’s beginnings were birthed during a hospital experience from its founder. In 1948, Jim Mauget was recovering from surgery when he struck up a conversation with his roommate, who happened to be an arborist. Pondering the medicinal drip of their intravenous, Mauget asked his friend about the feasibility of delivering fluids to trees using the same technology.
The arborist beside him, Walter Barrows, said, simply, “it could work.” And the words sparked Jim Mauget’s journey into, as one Mauget executive called it, “the heart of barkness.”
Jokes aside, today Mauget remains the undisputed “champion” of tree injection technology. Mauget’s inspiration to champion a safer alternative to the widely-used practice of blasting trees with high-powered spraying has come leaps and bounds.
There are currently dozens of products in Mauget’s extensive line, including highly-effective combination treatments, which are basically two Mauget treatments in one capsule. “This approach eliminates the need to make two separate tree injection applications,” says Jack Rikess, Marketing Manager at Mauget. “Additional injection sites are eliminated, saving the tree injection applicator time and expense.”
Two combination products – Abasol and Imisol – are excellent examples of Mauget’s forward-thinking philosophies. These two unique products combine fungicide and insecticide into one easy-to-apply injection capsule. Abasol and Imisol are the first products in Mauget’s line that provide both prophylactic protection as well as curative treatment for tree-feeding insects and harmful tree diseases.
Naturally, there are dozens of other products that can resolve health issues and bolster the health of these key “structures” on your course. After all, trees are not just “pretty faces” on your course. They frame golf holes, affect strategy and the integrity of individual holes, give sanctuary for birds and wildlife, clean the air, and protect golfers. So, obviously, their health is paramount!
Andrew Penner is a freelance writer and photographer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His work has appeared in many leading golf publications throughout North America, including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Golf Channel, Golf Canada, and SCOREGolf Magazine. Contact Andrew at email@example.com