A well-designed court will not have trees located too close. Many courts do have trees, and they present a number of maintenance problems. The most visible are the droppings of leaves, sap, twigs, bark and occasional branches. Sometimes elimination of the problems requires either removal of the trees or significant branch cutting. If neither of these options are implemented, regular removal of the debris will be required. One of the most irritating problems is fallen sap that sticks to the surface, is not water soluble and, therefore, just stays and builds up. A related issue is that many leaves will stain a court surface as they become wet and then bleach out with a hot sunny day. Some of these leaf stains will eventually bleach out of the surface again, but they leave a dulled mark in the surface.
Leaves allowed to accumulate on a court also represent a liability issue because a player, running back to reach a high, bouncing lob can readily slip and sustain injuries sufficient to create claims, increased insurance premiums, etc. Adjacent trees also need to be watched closely for roots seeking moisture under the slab of a tennis court. We have seen roots travel over 20 feet in order to get to moisture under a tennis court. Obviously, the type of root structure that a tree has is of great importance. Some have a tap root that goes virtually straight down and others have very large surface roots and still others have both. Roots under a court will raise, and eventually crack, a court surface. You are best advised to approach the problem before the symptoms get out of hand. This entails either tree removal or installation of a root barrier.
Stay tuned for our next topic, “Windscreens”
Now get outside and play some tennis!