The New Standard for Bermudagrass Freeze Tolerance in University Tests

Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass
Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass

Tahoma 31, the latest bermudagrass variety developed by the turfgrass researchers at Oklahoma State University, is now being used as the standard against which other bermudagrasses are measured for freeze tolerance.

In a recent peer-reviewed study by Oklahoma State University, Tahoma 31 was rated the most cold-tolerant of bermudagrasses tested, and the standard by which all other bermudagrasses were measured.

“We selected Tahoma 31 as the cold-tolerant standard variety in the study because Tahoma 31 showed the least winterkill among all 35 bermudagrasses in the 2013 National Bermudagrass Test by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program,” said Yanqi Wu, Ph.D. Professor, Grass Breeding and Genetics at Oklahoma State University.

Tahoma 31’s cold hardiness has been well documented. The grass is planted in the farthest northern reaches of the Transition Zone on golf courses from New York to Indiana, and even on sod farms in Colorado In fact, the name “Tahoma” is a Native American word that means “frozen water.”

However, Tahoma 31 offers much more than just the ability to stand up to the cold.

 Chad Adcock, former golf course superintendent and VP of Business Development for Sod Production Services
Chad Adcock, former golf course superintendent and VP of Business Development for Sod Production Services

“Tahoma 31 really solves a lot of the issues facing superintendents today,” said Chad Adcock, former golf course superintendent and VP of Business Development for Sod Production Services, the firm that licenses Tahoma 31. “Consider issues like wear and lack of recovery on shady sites, or winterkill on sandy bunker faces, or issues with droughty or high salinity soils.  Tahoma31 really can play an important role in solving many issues we face on nearly every course. Not to mention its reduced mowing needs, and the beautiful color and texture that make this grass a godsend for superintendents.”

The research tells the story of Tahoma 31’s utility and versatility for golf courses.

  • Low water use: In Oklahoma State University tests that measured evapotranspiration rates under non-limiting soil moisture conditions in Oklahoma (Amgain et al., 2018), Tahoma 31 fared best, and used 18% less water than TifTuf.
  • Turf Quality: Previous and current NTEP studies show Tahoma 31 ranked at the top or tied for first place for turf quality.
  • Traffic tolerance: Testing locations in 16 states (NTEP) ranked Tahoma 31 in the top spot for early spring green-up among all vegetative bermudagrass cultivars tested.

Tahoma 31 Bermuda is a fine-bladed, highly dense turfgrass, available as sod and sprigs,  suitable for use on golf course fairways, tees, greens surround, approaches, driving ranges, and roughs. The grass may be planted in warm-season climates into the farthest northern regions of the Transition Zone. Tahoma 31 is available through licensed sod farm producers worldwide.

Tahoma 31 will be on display in Booth #3951 at the GCSAA conference & show in San Diego next month.

For more information visit

About Tahoma 31 Bermuda

Tahoma 31 Bermuda was developed by the turfgrass experts at Oklahoma State University and is licensed and marketed by Sod Production Services, a division of Riverside Turf, headquartered in Charles City, VA. or 757-345-1120

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