Tree Policy

Tree Policy and Guidelines

Throughout the 70 years Federal Golf Club has occupied its present site it has sought to develop a course that is in harmony with its surroundings. There should be no change to that objective.

However, in the interests of providing a golf course of the highest quality care must be taken to preserve the delicate balance between creating excellent playing surfaces and maintaining a viable native woodland setting.

To ensure that this balance is maintained the Board has approved the following guidelines for the planting, care and removal of trees on the course.

  • Our location and surroundings must always be key considerations in any tree planting and management program. It is imperative that we protect the established woodland character of the golf course and preserve the views from the clubhouse and certain elevated fairways, tees and greens.
  • In selecting sites and trees for planting we must consider their ultimate size and form. Trees dramatically affect the way the course plays, create shade, reduce air circulation, and cause root encroachment around greens, tees and fairways. Their ultimate height and canopy form should be understood to ensure that they will not grow out into the clear air space above fairways.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that trees are not planted too close to each other. They should have ample space and unimpeded light to develop into fine specimens. Shrubs should be planted well clear of playing surfaces.
  • Every effort should be made to preserve trees of strategic importance to the golf course layout.
  • It is desirable to have a variety in height, canopy, leaf form and colour in our treescape. There are several species that are preferred for planting. Care should be taken when selecting species for planting in low lying, damp areas and elevated, dry areas.
  • Dead trees should be removed only after an assessment has been made of their potential as habitat trees. Trees that are a potential hazard for players should be removed or pruned.
  • Trees whose trunks are split or forked close to the ground, or are leaning excessively, should be replaced. Trees should be planted only in locations where they will have clear air/light above and around them and will not have to compete with existing trees. Newly planted trees should be formatively pruned for the first three years to remove double leaders, cross branching, and diseased branches, and to correct weight imbalance.
  • Trees that reach or exceed the following specifications are protected and cannot be removed without ACT Government approval:
    • 12m in height, or
    • greater than 1.5m (approx. 0.5m in diameter) at 1m above ground level, or
    • with two or more trunks and the total circumference of all the trunks 1m above ground level is 1.5m or more, or
    • 12m in crown width
  • The selection of trees and their siting should be done only on the advice of the Course Superintendent in consultation with the Course Committee. The Course Superintendent has the authority to fell or lop any tree that in his opinion constitutes a potential hazard to players or visitors.
  • Trees donated by club members must conform with the foregoing guidelines as to species and location and must not be planted without the prior approval of the Course Superintendent in consultation with the Course Committee.
  • The planting of trees to honour present and past club members raises potential difficulties should the trees become unhealthy or of undesirable form, or a fairway needs to be realigned or greens and tees relocated. As a consequence, this practice is not encouraged. The ashes of deceased members may be scattered but not interred in a container on the course.

All planting of trees or shrubs or work undertaken on trees and shrubs must have the prior approval of the Course Superintendent. The welfare of the playing surfaces must have priority.

Approved by the Board Federal Golf Club – April 2016