18 hole Moortown Golf Club in Leeds is steeped in history - 100 years old and the first UK hosts of the Ryder Cup in 1929. The course is surrounded by woodland that has seen an ingress of tree growth over those 100 years. In order to re-promote the heather and the heathland grass areas of the course a programme of tree removal is in progress, scheduled to last for at least the next three years.
Good woodland management is essential for any Golf Course as trees encroaching beyond the wooded areas change the characteristics of the soil - drawing out the moisture etc. In addition, the falling leaves add to the detriment of what you are trying to promote. Kevin Fox, Deputy Course Manager, and his team have slowly been reducing the woodland around the course with the help of Orange Plant and their range of Carlton stump grinders.
"People have asked me," says Kevin, "why we don't just dig the stumps out of the ground after felling the trees. Obviously once you get through the initial visible stump, there is still a lot more going on underneath that has to come out - sometimes over 5 to 6 times the dimensions of the tree! It would take a lot of work to get this out and not only cause a great disturbance to the site, but also leave a load of material to remove."
Over his 28 years at Moortown Kevin has had experience with other brands of stump grinders and says "they're all very hard work", however since coming across the Carlton range that's changed. "With their hydraulic systems and remote control," he says, "they make the job much easier and quicker. I regularly hire the SP7015TRX model but have also had the SP5014TRX. The benefits of these self-propelled tracked units is that you can literally take them just about anywhere. There is some pretty uneven ground on the course, unstable terrain, but with the tracks you can take them anywhere. Whilst I regularly hire the larger 7015 model, the 5014 is still man enough."
The club benefits by the use of a stump grinder in that it's all done much quicker with the material being cleared off straight away or, if it is in an area away from the general play, just dressed over the top and seeded.