"Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

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"Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby VADISCgolfer » Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:33 pm

I'm thinking about "building" a course in Zone 8. There's a field there were I can plant trees so that they can grow in probably 8-15 years.

I was wondering what was some of the best "disc golf trees" that you know of. They have to be able to handle some sun (so Partial Shade-Full Sun)

I don't really want them dropping leaves like crazy (so Pine trees are out of the question, I'm tired of Pine Trees). Cedar trees could be used but they make it difficult to extract a disc from.

Tree Identification Guide at arborday.org - Identify trees with a simple step-by-step guide. (I hope you click on Eastern and Central United States)

Show me the most popular trees in zone 8.
Show me all trees that grow well in zone 8.

What's your favorite disc golf tree?

I hope this thread is in the right location; if not, please feel free to move it.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:47 pm

My favorite tree for disc golf is a willow. It provides a very uniform barrier, you can see through it and there are few places for a disc to stick in it. Park people are more leery of them because the limbs tend to be weaker than some trees and break off unexpectedly. Also, you don't want them near any water pipelines running through the area where they are planted since their roots have been known to break the pipes seeking water.

Populars are not considered great hardwoods but are ideal for disc golf when you need something to grow fast. Maybe you can work it where you plant slower growing, higher quality trees like maples or oaks for the long term and poplars nearby that will grow faster so you get the barriers you're looking for a little faster.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby VADISCgolfer » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:38 pm

Based on what you told me, Willows are out of the question. I don't want any problems with the trees I plant because I can't be there to fix it. I think I should have mentioned this, I want maintenaince free plants (I mean trees-edit).

The poplar (spelling correct?) you've mentioned is more up my alley. What do you consider a "great hardwood" tree?

Populars are not considered great hardwoods but are ideal for disc golf when you need something to grow fast. Maybe you can work it where you plant slower growing, higher quality trees like maples or oaks for the long term and poplars nearby that will grow faster so you get the barriers you're looking for a little faster.


p.s.edit. . . : Thanks Chuck
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:49 am

I listed them: Maples and Oaks but Oaks take long to grow. Hackberries seem to be OK around here and it looks like those were on the list for your climate. The thing is, you can get free advice at a nursery or from the forester that's many times on staff in the larger city or county park departments. The soil has a bearing on what trees will specifically work better on your site regardless whether they happen to be suitable for your region from a temperature standpoint.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby Dogma » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:30 am

The nicer hardwoods like maples and oaks grow quite slowly. If you want trees fast then Chuck is right that poplars are a good choice. The poplar (AKA "tulip poplar") saplings that keep coming up in our yard can grow from knee high to over eight feet in a season. I cut 'em down and they come right back. They tend to be a tall, slender tree over time. You might want to visit http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/FastestTrees.htm. Pay attention to the fact that they assume a starting height of five feet tall. Most trees grow slowly in the first couple of years so it's worth buying the most mature trees you can afford if you want coverage quickly.

As for leaf drop, most trees will drop a lot of leaves in fall. It can be worse than pine needles. On wooded courses around here it's very difficult to find your disc in October and November because the leaves are at least ankle deep and the disc slides right under them and is invisible. On courses with more space between the trees it isn't usually a big deal.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby roman » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:15 pm

Dogma wrote:As for leaf drop, most trees will drop a lot of leaves in fall. It can be worse than pine needles. On wooded courses around here it's very difficult to find your disc in October and November because the leaves are at least ankle deep and the disc slides right under them and is invisible. On courses with more space between the trees it isn't usually a big deal.


God, that's the worst. I once spent 10 minutes searching in leaves that were above my ankle for my money Roc that I know I parked the hole with... It was parked 10 feet from the basket and I couldn't see it. I finally stumbled into it shuffling my feet while criss-crossing the area around the basket.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby pointdisc » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:08 pm

Pine trees eat discs (it's a proven, scientific fact), so they're out of the question.

I'd say... eastern cottonwood. Fast growing, hardy, and not too picky (again, a poplar species). You will have to keep the cottonwoods away from pavement as they tend to root up and heave it. Maybe pecan trees (with an added bonus of nut harvest). Green ash is also a very popular tree that can grow most anywhere.

With the honey locust, you'll have a mess when the pods fall (it's not terrible though).

Or, if you want to be cruel, thornnapples, black locust, blackberries, & barberry (sp) bushes...

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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby Beetard » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:15 pm

Black locusts grow FAST. They have nasty thorns though.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby discndav » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:41 pm

This is from someome I know with a degree in forestry and is an ISA Certified Arborist.

First of all, there is no perfect tree. A tree that is planted correctly in the right place will grow, thrive, and do well. Any young tree (including oaks) if planted properly will grow fast.
They are trees. They have leaves or needles, some have seeds or flowers, and they will drop them. Deal with it.
Trees do need maintenance. Trees are an investment. You take care of your investment and you reap the benefits.

Second, it is a myth that trees cause cracks in things like water lines. 99.9% of the time there is a crack (however minor it may be) or moisture seeping out and a tree will do anything to compromise that by going toward the water source. But, the tree is NOT the initial cause, it is the already cracked pipe, that is usually very old in most cities.

Third, the best trees to plant are those that are best for the site. It sounds like an open space, so the biggest thing to consider is the soil and type of drainage for the area. That will dictate the proper species to plant.
Are you trying to convert a field to a wooded area and are looking for hundreds of seedlings or saplings? Or are you planning more of an open space area with a few dozen individual large trees? The answer to that will dictate the type and size trees you plant (and can afford). If planting several larger trees you would do best with 1 1/2-2 inch size trees that will transplant best. Going larger is much more expensive and has a higher mortality risk if not properly cared for.

I would highly recommend the website: http://www.treesaregood.com

There is a wealth of info there about tree selection and care.
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/tr ... ction.aspx

Also, check your local county extension office, NRCS, or state forestry office for information or assistance. A local consulting forester or consulting arborist may also help. (Consulting arborists can also be found from the ISA website http://www.treesaregood.com)

With all that being said, some species I would recommend do include oaks. Like I said, if planted properly, they will grow fast and thrive. Some species I like are Swamp White, Burr Oak, and Shumard Oak. Live Oak, Willow Oak, and Chestnut Oak will also do well for zone 8.

Maples will also grow fast. Newer species include Autumn Blaze, October Glory, and Freeman. Many are very low on seeds these days.

Hybrid Elms are Dutch Elm Disease resistant. Homestead, Frontier, and Valley Forge are popular.
London Plane Trees are great large trees. They are similar to Sycamore, but anthracnose resistant.
Baldcypress is one of my all time favorite trees and it grows just about anywhere, but loves moist soils.
Gingkos are fabulous and very tolerant. Make sure to get male trees that won't drop fruit.
Hackberry is very tolerant. Sugar Hackerry is great.
Honeylocust has varieties without the seedpods and thorns. Try Sunburst.
Kentucky Coffeetree looks pretty pathetic when young, but grow into great, large, hardy trees and you can get them without the seed pods too.
You could also plant dogwoods and crepe myrtles for lower growing trees in the understory.
I would stay away from cottonwood (poplars), willows, and pears.
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby jclepa » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:54 am

I have 2 River Birch Trees that went from 1 foot twigs that were free on Arbor day to 6 foot trees by the next year. Plus River Birches look good both as a singular tree and in clumps.

Regardless of what trees you choose I would look around for group giving away free trees in the spring. (Arbor Day Foundation etc.)
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Re: "Building" a disc golf course. Fast-growing trees.

Postby Eric O » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:10 pm

This is an interesting subject. I like that you are thinking beforehand about what kind of trees to plant.

I can't really add anything new to the subject, but I will say that golfing among oak groves is always awesome. Oaks are majestic trees. Around here there are lots of courses playing in and around predominately mature fir forest. Makes for challenging golf holes.
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