#11  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:38 PM
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I'll be anxious to see if this course does, in fact, reopen in June. This is a really nice course & I would hate to see it closed permanently.
There were rumors afoot when this course was opened, that the locals were not keen on seeing it installed. Hate finding out the rumors were based in truth.
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2018, 01:19 PM
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apdrvya apdrvya is offline
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As of today (per facebook) McGraft Park in Muskegon has also been closed(temporarily) for the same concern.

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Old 05-07-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by apdrvya View Post
As of today (per facebook) McGraft Park in Muskegon has also been closed(temporarily) for the same concern.
Damn....this is becoming an issue. I can only hope that some solid evidence based ecologic evidence is being put to use in the decisions here. I mean, I am sure that damage to Ash trees, by golf discs, made the trees more susceptible to EAB, but in the long run, it made zero difference. The borer was going to be fatal to 100% of the trees regardless of the impact of disc golf or anything else.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:10 PM
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I am sure that damage to Ash trees, by golf discs, made the trees more susceptible to EAB, but in the long run, it made zero difference. The borer was going to be fatal to 100% of the trees regardless of the impact of disc golf or anything else.
This is exactly where i was going with my earlier post. From what ive read about oak wilt it seems it's predominately transferred through the root system. I'm not saying the beetle and disc golf may play a part in some cases, but to say that disc golf is the reason seems like a stretch without solid evidence.

Especially since their claim is that a proper study wasn't done ahead of time. How could anyone know that disc golf is the culprit? Once one tree has it, how can you stop it?

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Old 05-07-2018, 03:39 PM
Lazerface Lazerface is offline
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In the comments from the linked story is the article below from landscape.org. I have to admit this type of article in the hands of a park official could really lead to some understandable hesitation if approached by a local with a request to install a course in a heavily wooded area. It's referencing the park in question, but sites many generalities that are apparent at most disc golf courses - in regard to design and disc impact damage.

Honestly, as an extremely bias lover of the game, and accepting that this author is indeed as objective as he/she claims, I think the concerns are valid. I'm sure there are some locals who simply don't want the course and jump on the oak wilt narrative, but the article has some pretty solid reasoning for concern.

It's really difficult to protect trees, especially those without thick bark from disc damage, but it sounds like designers will have to come up with something in areas where oak wilt is a concern.

https://treedoctor.msu.edu/sites/def...lfandTrees.pdf
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:45 PM
Chaz58 Chaz58 is offline
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A golf disc is not going to destroy a hardy oak tree, period. When the country started to import a lot of lumber from overseas none of that lumber was "quarantined" until it could be proven that it was not bringing damaging insects in with it (thank you government!). Needless to say, that lumber was spread throughout the U.S. In our area we have had many, many trees that have had to be cut down in a lot of places due to either the ash borer or a Japanese emerald beetle that was killing them off and spreading from tree to tree. These insects are darned near impossible to eradicate once they get established. We even spent 150 bucks just trying to save one of our trees that got infected, but the treatment was like so much fake hokus-pokus! Who knows how many millions of trees these insects will eventually kill. It's almost like some type of slowly spreading plague. If some place or someone is trying to place the blame on disc golfers that sounds to me like swimming in the dark to look for a reason to get rid of the disc golf course. Also, don't believe everything you read because it is on the "wonderful" internet of the 21st century. Fake news and misinformation seems to be the main goal of the internet today. Except our disc golf site here BTW, did I tell ya about my 600 foot drive off the tee I parked right next to the basket for my last eagle?

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Old 05-07-2018, 04:15 PM
Barefoot744 Barefoot744 is offline
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Well this got out of hand... I was trying to give a little background on the disease while at work and keep getting pulled out to do actual work, lame. Sorry if it got a bit discombobulated. If you want to know a bit more on the disease from a forestry nerd read on, if not, skip.

Gblambert is pretty accurate. The fungus (Ceratocystis fagacearum) is most commonly spread by Carpohilus spp sap feeding beetles (two species specifically). These beetles come out in very early spring (about 60-80 degree-days base 45?) and are attracted to the fungal spore mats created from infested trees (the year after death) and to open wounds on oaks. The fungus is very quick to act and can kill a tree in a matter of weeks by plugging the vascular tissues of the tree, essentially strangling it. I have seen the beetles within 15 minutes of a wound and seen trees 100% leafless in 10 days. Oaks of the red oak group (red, black, pin...) are extremely sensitive and rarely live past the year of infection. The white oak group is much less sensitive and may only have some die back but could survive. Once the fungus is in a tree it can spread though root grafts between trees underground and can result in the death of an entire oak stand, if not treated.
The best way to limit the disease is to reduce the damage to trees during the high risk time of year, April to August (these dates are locally specific). Once a red oak is infected there is no way to save it. There are a couple of treatment methods that help to reduce the spread of the disease and they all involve removing and destroying the infected tree and disrupting the root grafts between this infected tree and the surrounding healthy trees. Disrupting the root grafts can be done by using a vibratory plow, removing the stump, or killing a buffer of oak trees around the infected tree (herbicide). Treatments are very effective if done correctly and can stop the spread of a pocket with the first treatment, however this can be very costly and time consuming.
Oak Wilt is much different than EAB as it needs some sort of disturbance to create an entry point for the beetle/fungus. Oak wilt has been documented in the Midwest since the 1940s and is suspected to have been here for many years prior. Thought to be exotic possibly from central America but not 100% confirmed as far as I know. The interesting part is that oaks are very well adapted to the disease, maybe it is coincidence but I don't really believe in those. Oaks are mid to intolerant and need quite a bit of sun to establish. In the forest Oak Wilt kills a large canopy tree, then the disease spreads underground to the surrounding trees killing a larger and larger ring as the years progress, like a bull's-eye. This expanding bull's-eye can create an optimal environment to regenerate a new stand of oak trees; seed trees ring the ever expanding sunny pocket... that's my forestry nerd take on it. I suspect that the greater prevalence and awareness is coming from the age of our forests and our ability to share information. Many oak stands are reaching 100-120 years old and individual trees are more conspicuous and susceptible to the disease due to natural senescence. EAB is much more aggressive, invasive, and complete loss of a species is pretty inevitable as we are seeing across the eastern half of the country.
As far as closing the course, I can see their concern. Is it the best option? That I cant say, I don't know the area, the park composition, or the situation. Allowing people to utilize a greenspace gives it value which keeps it around, I totally agree. Oak wilt may be something that a designer wants to consider though. If you have only one tree as an obstacle on a hole, what happens if it dies? A lot of parks are very over populated with oaks because they are very aesthetically pleasing to us. I personally would not be overly concerned with smashing a drive into the trunk of a large tree because the chances of splitting the bark is pretty low, but clipping a branch up high or on a small tree, that may be more likely.

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Old 05-07-2018, 04:22 PM
Barefoot744 Barefoot744 is offline
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I guess the moral is oak wilt is a serious disease but pretty preventable and manageable compared to many of the other diseases out there. If we take a few take a few small precautions we can keep our parks and courses safe.

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  #19  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:59 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barefoot744 View Post
...it needs some sort of disturbance to create an entry point for the beetle/fungus....
What percent of trees experience such a disturbance outside of a disc golf course?

What is the probability of infection after a disturbance?
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  #20  
Old 05-08-2018, 10:02 AM
Barefoot744 Barefoot744 is offline
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Neither of those questions can be answered from an arm chair.

Do trees experience damage other than from disc golf? Of course.
In the forest, the largest cause of damage I see is from wind. In urban areas, the largest cause of damage I see is from people pruning/trimming trees at the wrong time (yard trees, park trees, ROW).

What's the probability of infection? Depends. How prevalent is the fungus in the area? How strong is the beetle population? When was the disturbance? What is the weather like? How big is the wound?
I have seen beetles cover a fresh wound in as little as 15 minutes resulting in the tree dying in less than two weeks. I have see huge branches break off with no infection at all.
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