Do Golfers Hate Trees?

Probably not.

trees at country club

But if they love trees like the rest of us then why is the Wellesley Country Club destroying so many of them?  The club has already cut down over 80 trees that were outside of the town’s jurisdiction, and is now headed to the Wetlands Protection Committee this coming Thursday, March 30, 6:30 p.m. to ask for permission to remove another 67 trees that are in wetlands.

The club offers a number of reasons for this widespread tree removal – some of the trees are in decline, some interfere with play and some are invasive species.  But one driving force behind the plan seems to be a problem with fungus on the turf that they say can only be dealt with by either the application of pesticides or by removing trees so that better air circulation can eliminate it.

There is a problem with both of these strategies. First, using pesticides in a wetland area is not a healthy, safe approach. Secondly, if better air circulation creates a drier environment that will kill off the fungus, then it seems it will also dry up – and eliminate – the wetland.  Fungus is a naturally occurring growth and does especially well in damp environments – like a wetland.

At a time when people around our planet are working hard to save and plant more trees in order to stave off climate change, it just seems wrong to be cutting them down for “interfering with play”.

A quick look at articles in the USGA magazine, November 6, 2015 issue, reveals that this is a growing trend on golf courses nationwide.  Trees are viewed as obstacles to the game and not appreciated for the beauty, shade and habitat they provide (not to mention oxygen).  This outlook runs counter to common sense and treats trees as if they were merely furniture and not the living, breathing beings that they are.

The Country Club is a beautiful open space.  It’s beauty however, comes mainly from its trees.

If you are passionate about trees and preserving as many as we can in our town, please come to the wetlands hearing – Thursday, March 30 in the office of the Natural Resources Commission, Town Hall.  Public Voice begins at 6:30 p.m.

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