Dollar Spot fungus and European crane fly larvae are infecting the Niagara Falls, N.Y., golf course’s turf after it went untreated over the summer when the city’s longtime arborist “suddenly” retired. A $12,250 contract was awarded to Turf USA and a pesticide applicator is running five curative treatments on the golf course, which now has a positive prognosis.
The City of Niagara Falls, N.Y.’s Hyde Park Municipal Golf Course was almost lost—or rather immeasurably damaged—because no one applied pesticides all summer, the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Reporter reported.
On September 16, the Niagara Falls Council voted to approve an emergency pesticide contract submitted by Mayor Paul Dyster. The $12,250 contract was awarded to Turf USA, a company owned by Charles Calabro, the Reporter reported.
One of the diseases that now infects the Hyde Park Golf Course is the Dollar Spot fungus, which has created huge swaths of straw-colored, sunken spots about the size of a silver dollar on the greens and fairways as it kills the turf. European crane fly larvae, which eat the roots, thin out turf and create large dead patches, also threaten the course, the Reporter reported.
“Basically the city stopped applying fungicide,” Calabro, who is a DEC-licensed Pesticide Applicator, told the Reporter. “Ninety-nine percent of the problem is the lack of fungicides. They didn’t get these problems in two weeks or two months.”
DPW Director David Kinney called the need to hire Calabro an “emergency,” created, he said, by the fact that the DPW longtime arborist, Paul Dickinson, “suddenly” retired. The Parks Department of Niagara Falls had only one pesticide applicator, Dickinson, and no preparation was made for his replacement. Instead, Dickinson decided to quit this spring, the Reporter reported.
No pesticides were applied since, Calabro said. “You should be putting down pesticides every month,” he said.
Calabro will do five curative treatments on the golf course and will continue until December 10, adding that the prognosis looks good, the Reporter reported.
“You had it all year where they neglected it and now we have to cram it down in three months to get it back to normal conditions. They would have never survived if they waited. Once the freeze comes, it’s over. They would have lost a good portion of many of the greens, ” Calabro said.
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