380 fruit trees on the golf course: this is how care works

Meadow orchards and old varieties of fruit trees – more and more golf courses score with these in terms of environmental protection and nature conservation. The care factor, however, easily becomes a problem. After all, the greenkeeper usually has no training in pruning fruit trees. Commissioned gardeners or specialist companies put a strain on the budget. If the greenkeeping is done by external companies, the pruning of fruit trees is not included in the normal budget. Trees that are not cared for suffer, become unsightly over time and even die.

“We have 380 fruit trees on our course, so caring for them is a pretty important issue for us,” explains Marcel Gallmayer, Managing Director of Golf Course Schönbuch GmbH & Co. KG , which is part of the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association. With its own fruit tree nature trail and meadow orchards on the 18-hole course, the numerous trees make up a significant part of the visual impression. The right care is therefore automatically part of the program. In recent years, this has largely been done on a voluntary basis using a cutting plan with the help of Golf & Nature representative Jens-Uwe Eberwein in the club.

Fruit tree pruning courses for external members and members

By conducting its own fruit tree pruning courses, the golf course, which also took second place in the DGV Innovation Prize with its 2019 project, is now breaking new ground in the management of orchard trees. “We started in 2019 and for the first time offered a course with the specialist advice center for fruit and horticulture at the Böblingen district office,” Gallmayer explains the procedure. At the same time, we take care of the funding program for proper fruit tree pruning in Baden-Württemberg and put the money back into our fruit tree projects 1:1.

As part of the fruit tree pruning course in 2019, 20 participants learned how to properly care for the trees on the golf course. The course is now planned to be held every year. While at the premiere there were mainly foreigners on site, this autumn the greenkeepers of the golf course are also on duty. Interested members can also participate in the future. Before practical experience is gained on the trees on the golf course, all participants receive a theoretical introduction and make initial cutting tests on individual branches.

The fruit tree pruning course brings real added value for the Schönbuch golf course, which participates in both the Habitat Golf Courseprogram and is gold-certified in Golf & Nature . On the one hand you get the funding from the federal state, and on the other hand at least part of the tree care work is done. The non-golfers in particular, who make up most of the pruning course participants, get a direct impression of the promotion of fruit trees on golf courses. And: the greenkeeping team will also be trained.