Everything You Need to Know About Golf Course Tree Management

If you own a track, having an effective golf course tree management plan from a reliable level 5 arborist is essential in order to reduce hazard risks and improve the aesthetic value of your property.

Here’s the scoop on why you need a plan and how to get a reliable level 5 arborist:

Why you need a plan

Vegetation is an important part of any good track and is an asset to your business. It adds aesthetic appeal, interest and a natural feel that makes players want to come back again and again. It also helps to outline the track’s boundaries to keep players headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, vegetation can become damaged over time by things such as storms and diseases, putting them at risk of falling and posing a safety hazard to players.

A golf course tree management plan helps to identify the structure and health of vegetation in the area. An arborist will assess the condition of your vegetation in order to determine the likelihood of risk and remove any dangerous shrubs. They may replace the lost vegetation with new ones. This ensures that your property is safe and is in top condition.

A golf course tree management plan could also help you save money by avoiding damage to players and the land, and by allocating your budget towards removing high-risk vegetation rather than low risk.


The process

There are several steps involved in the golf course tree management process.

Make a booking

The first step is to contact your local arborist and decide on a date to meet for a consultation.

Have a consultation

Most arborists offer free consultations; check with yours to see if they charge a fee. The consultation will typically involve providing information on your property and your needs, establishing what outcomes you can expect and determining the cost of the plan.

Determine occupancy rate

Occupancy rate refers to the ratio of used space to the total amount of space available. This can help determine the risk of harm caused by vegetation failure. A high occupancy rate signals a high risk of harm as there are a large number of players who could be affected by vegetation failure.

Vegetation risk assessment

An arborist will then assess the vegetation on the property by observing them from the ground level. They will look for things like:

  • Dead branches
  • Rotting wood
  • Decay in the structure
  • Fungal bodies
  • Hollows
  • Insect infestations
  • Bark inclusion

This can help them to establish the health, structure and general state of the vegetation and decide whether or not the shrub is low, medium or high-risk. Once this is done, the arborist will write up a report as part of your golf course tree management plan.

Vegetation removal

In accordance with the results in the report, the arborist will then help you decide which high-risk vegetation will be removed. This can be informed by your budget; if you have a limited budget, only the vegetation at most risk of harm will be removed. The arborist will then remove and dispose of the vegetation.

Vegetation replacement

You may want to replace the lost shrubs with new ones in order to retain the look and feel of your property. An arborist can help you determine the best species to plant (to reduce the risk of issues in the future) and plant it for you. They can also help with providing planting strategies.


A golf course tree management plan is an important component of property maintenance. It helps ensure that your track is safe for players to use. Contact your local arborist for more information.