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Dry, hard edges on golf course fairways and around putting greens present added challenges to golfers trying to improve their game.
They are also a challenge to green keepers who see the result of moisture being taken by tree roots that seek water under the fairways. Left unattended, a lack of water and nutrients causes long term damage to fairway and green peripheral areas.
“Our business is to resolve and prevent tree root damage around buildings and infrastructure and also terminate tree root damage on golf course fairways and greens,” said Peter Lawrence of Rootmasters, a specialist contractor.
“Regular irrigation of golf course fairways is a great attraction to trees lining fairways and their roots can reach some distance across a grassed area.
“We developed a system that comprises a very large circular saw with specially adapted trencher teeth. The saw penetrates the soil to 600mm, which is deep enough to cut wandering tree roots along fairways. The cut is usually made at or beyond the trees’ drip line, so there is no detrimental effect on trees. The beneficial effects are outstanding, with a
huge saving on future water and labour costs.
“The saw cuts a trench 75mm wide and because the wheel is turning in the same direction as the tractor is travelling, it fills the trench with spoil behind it. All that remains is a line of loose earth on the surface – no empty trenches. A New Holland TD 70 tractor is used to deploy the purpose-built tree root saw.
“We chose this tractor because it has a very slow crawler gear, which provides the correct ground speed essential to the ground saw working effectively. We trench at a rate of230metres an hour for hard ground and can speed the process through softer soil.
We put a separate PTO driven hydraulic system on the saw to supply the additional hydraulic pressure and flow needed. There’s also an additional hydraulic oil reservoir attachment. In fact, we don’t use the tractor’s hydraulic system – just the purpose-built oil pump system to drive the ground saw,” Peter said.

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