Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snow Mold

With the snow on the way out, I have decided to update you on an old foe of golf course superintendents.  Snow Mold.  There are two different varieties that are normaly present in Michigan, pink snow mold (Microdochium nivale) and grey snow mold (Typhula incarnata and Typhula ishikariensis).  For grey snow mold, there has to be continuous snow cover for at least 60 days.  Luckily, in southeast Michigan, this rarely happens.  Grey snow mold is also a very destructive pathogen, as it will kill and infect not only the leaf blades, but will also infect the crown of the plant, leaving bare spots in the spring.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, pink snow mold does not even need snow cover to form and infect the grass.  As long as temperatures are below 50 degrees and conditions are damp, pink snow mold can occur.  Usually pink snow mold does not kill the plant, but just infects the leaf blades.  Once the temperatures start to warm up, the crown will start to regenerate leaf tissue and the damage will disappear.  Here is a picture of some pink snow mold that I saw on #5 fairway.

Unfortunatly, you can not see the characteristic pink ring around the outside of the spot, but you can see the white mycelium in the middle of the spot.  Luckily, it appears that we had an easy winter in regards to snow mold.  The ground was frozen before we had much snow and I have not seen any snow mold on the greens or tees, just some on the fairways and more in the rough.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Also, here are some monkeys that some pranksters put up in a tree near #6 tee.

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