Moving Really Big Trees At Arrowhead Stadium

An anti-transpirant application is customarily included in typical Colonial Nursery tree-transplanting operations. Select trees are sprayed prior to digging or, if not, they are sprayed at the job site immediately after planting. However, Bruce opted to handle the spray application with his own crew, as the Chiefs had the sprayer, an experienced technician and a supply of an anti-transpirant in the chemical store room. “It’s a … product we’ve applied for years, generally in November, as winter protection for certain trees and shrubs,” he explained. Winter damage to ornamentals around Arrowhead Stadium is practically unknown. With Kansas City’s weather extremes, one never knows when winter may bring adverse effects from freezing temperatures and desiccating winds. “Providing a winter ‘overcoat’ to susceptible varieties and exposed plants in open areas probably has helped us look good in the spring,” Bruce said.

“Moving these six large trees out of the way, then taking them back to their original site and replanting them was our first time using an anti-transpirant in the summer. Overall, four applications were made.” A follow-up treatment was made in July after an extreme hot spell when there were references to several more near-hundred-degree days in the forecast.

Forth And Back Again

Sportsfield turf management is the forte of the Chiefs’ grounds crew, of course. The crew shines at sodding, seeding and sprigging Bermuda grass and over-seeded perennial ryegrass, as well as Kentucky bluegrass at its Wisconsin training camp. It maintains a total of 6 ½ natural-grass playing fields for the Chiefs.

Meanwhile, the cause of the leakage around The Pavilion and the interfacing with its subterranean neighbors had been pinpointed and corrected. After Bruce and crew resodded the lawn and replaced shrubbery, Colonial Nursery brought back its Big John Tree Spade, and the six Seedless Marshall Ash trees were again transplanted in front of the Pavilion. August 16 was moving day and the temperature reached the mid-eighties. To minimize transpiration and help prevent wilting and leaf drop, the trees again were sprayed with an anti-transpirant, and the diligent watering schedule was resumed.

A couple days later, the Arizona Cardinals came to Arrowhead for the Chiefs’ pre-season opener. The Cardinals won 20-16. However, many Chiefs staffers still felt like winners due to the successful reopening of The Pavilion and the restoration of the landscape. For the tens of thousand of fans passing by, it looked almost as though nothing had changed since the previous season. The Chief’s Engineering and Groundskeeping departments wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hal G. Dickey is a freelance writer with over 35 years of experience in the professional turf and ornamental industry. A professional photographer, writer and former Advertising Director and Public Relations Manager for PBI/Gordon Corporation, he is known by many lawn and landscape contractors, golf course superintendents, turf producers and grounds crews for his insatiable curiosity and genuine interest in every aspect of the turf and ornamental management industry.

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