Michigan State University Turfgrass Scienceturf.msu.edu

Winterkill across Michigan

Apr 12, 2010 at 1:19pm  —  Kevin Frank


The only thing consistent about winterkill is inconsistency.  Once again this year winterkill was sporadic throughout Michigan.  To my knowledge, damage was observed in Lansing, Howell, Brighton, and what appears to be a concentrated area in the northwest Detroit suburbs area of Bloomfield Hills.  Not all courses were affected the same, not all greens or fairways on the same course were affected the same.  The typical crown hydration injury associated with poor draining areas on Poa annua greens and fairways was common.  However, there were also areas that were killed that were not in low lying or poorly draining areas.  This kill could have been due to either anoxia from ice cover or from the soils being saturated following rainfall and/or snowmelt and then rapid refreezing.

A couple memorable quotes from my visits last week, at least as close as I can remember them.  From Terry Poley at Pine Lake Country Club, “A good partnership between surviving Poa and newly seeded bentgrass is necessary for recovery.”  From John Cooney at Tam O’Shanter Country Club, “Slope and sun is the formula for avoiding winterkill.”