By Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved the tree management plan for the back nine holes of the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club course at its July 3 meeting. The plan for holes 10 through 18 calls for the removal of 56 trees, the replanting of 74 replacement trees and the elimination of over 7.9 acres of turf, which will be replaced with native shrubs and save a substantial amount of money on water, according to RSF Golf Club Manager Al Castro.
After a somewhat contentious community meeting in 2013 about the club’s removal of trees to increase playability, the RSF Association and RSF Golf Club decided to work together to create a comprehensive plan.
A tree management committee made up of members from the RSF Golf Club, the RSF Association’s trails committee and the committee on the natural environment (CONE) was formed to give every tree on the course a “thoughtful review and analysis.”
In May, the board approved the plan for the front nine that included the removal of 32 trees, the planting of 30 new replacement trees and an additional 10.7 acres of turf.
The total of 18.9 acres of turf being removed is part of the club’s overall effort to conserve water and irrigation costs, which have doubled over the last eight years, Castro said.
The work on the front nine is expected to begin in September with a 90- to 120-day construction process. The tree plan for holes 10 through 18 are part of phase two and is scheduled to begin in September 2015.