5 Trees that are a Great fit for Golf Courses

Jeana Cadby
July 7, 2020

High-quality landscaping trees can add great value to the golf course, including spectacular color and texture. Practical applications also include much-needed windbreaks, shade, and refinement to challenges on the course. 

Finding the perfect tree for the diverse needs of a golf course can be difficult. However, proper tree selection can provide both aesthetic and functional golf course features that last for decades. Read on to see our top picks for 5 trees that are a great fit for golf courses.

Beauty for the Course

New plantings on the golf course typically use trees about 2.5-3 inches in diameter. When an immediate need for a plant becomes necessary, faster-growing species can easily fill in the gaps and provide beautiful color and texture to the landscape. Although weaker-wooded and shorter-lived trees may be less durable, they provide a quick option to add species diversity or fill in a backdrop until more durable, slower-growing trees can get established.

1- Accolade™ Elm

The Accolade™ Elm Tree (Ulmus japonica x wilsoniana 'Morton') is hardy, exhibits a graceful, upright vase-shape, with a fast growth rate. With excellent disease and pest resistance, this beautiful elm tree continues to perform and has excellent drought tolerance. 

Growing in Zones 4-9, with a maximum height of 70 ft, and spread of 60 ft. 

More about the Accolade™ Elm Tree.

2- Capital Pear

The Capital Pear Tree (Pyrus calleryana 'Capital') has a narrow, columnar growth habit, with a fast growth rate. Ideal for use in areas with limited space, this compact landscaping tree can be densely planted to add dimension and course interest. With spectacular fall color and delightful white spring flowers, the Capital Pear creates the ideal backdrop for a beautiful day on the green.

Growing in Zones 4-8, with a maximum height of 35 ft, and spread of 12 ft. 

More about the Capital Pear Tree.

3- Armstrong Gold Maple

The Armstrong Gold®️ Maple Tree (Acer rubrum 'JFS-KW78' PP 25301) has a columnar, tight upright growth habit, and is well known as an excellent species for street use. Glowing orange fall color, with soft, bright summer foliage, the Armstrong Gold®️ Maple is a fast growing maple tree in areas with limited space. A low maintenance maple with beautiful seasonal color and excellent shape. 

Armstrong Gold Maple trees in #7's at Garden Gate Nursery in Pasco Washington.

Growing in Zones 3-7, with a maximum height of 40 ft, and spread of 12 ft. 

More about the Armstrong Gold®️ Maple Tree

Slow and Steady

Trees destined for a long life on the golf course are ideally hardy and durable. Although slow-growing trees may take longer to mature, lasting results are worth the wait.

4- Red Oak

The mighty Red Oak Tree (Quercus rubra) is hardy, attractive, and easily manageable. This large, fast growing oak tree tolerates compacted soil and has wonderful bright red fall color. Gray bark provides some texture to large branches that are covered in verdant green foliage throughout the summer, filling out a dense, rounded shape. A sturdy and disease resistant oak tree with beautiful fall color and cool summer shade. 

Growing in Zones 3-8, with a maximum height of 50 ft, and spread of 50 ft. 

More about the Red Oak Tree. 

5- Bosnian Pine

The Bosnian Pine Tree (Pinus leucodermis) is a versatile and adaptable evergreen, with marvelously dense green foliage. Well suited for a variety of growing conditions, this pyramidal beauty is deer resistant and performs well in dry or shallow soils.

Growing in Zones 4-8, with a maximum height of 40 ft, and spread of 10 ft. 

More about the Bosnian Pine Tree.

Trees on the Green

When selecting the perfect landscaping tree for the golf course, researching local soil and climate conditions can be especially helpful for lasting health. Special orders for trees should also be placed with your supplier as early as possible. Early spring and fall are the ideal time to plant deciduous trees and placing your order well before the spring season can help to ensure the trees are available when they are most needed.

Deciduous trees and trees with vigorous spring flowers may also contribute to ground litter that requires extra effort to maintain. Additionally, for areas that will experience a lot of foot or cart traffic, trees with less sensitive root systems fare much better in the long term.

Other considerations include matching the final tree size to the needs of the planting space. When planting larger deciduous trees, spacing should incorporate the needs of a mature tree, and provide ample space for canopy development. Larger trees also come with larger root systems, and it is also important to consider the influence of a large root system on turfgrass.

Where is your favorite place to golf? Love to know in the comments!

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