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attaching things to living trees

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attaching things to living trees

Postby smojo » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:35 am

Living trees make tempting posts to fasten things to - bird boxes, supports for shelters etc. They don't need preservatives, they are strong and don't need hammering into the ground. But it doesn't seem right to hammer nails in or fasten screws to them. I guess the odd smalls screw for your birdbox won't do much harm but how about nailing spars for roofs etc. What is a good way of anchoring things permanently and strongly without harming the tree or risking introducing disease? Cable ties around them will eventually dig into the bark as it grows and not easy to fasten around large trees.
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Re: attaching things to living trees

Postby Dexter's Shed » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:26 am

I too worried about such things, but then we found a few trees with barbed wire embedded deep in the trunks where it had been placed years ago, and the tree had grown over it, these trees were still standing as mighty oaks, so up went all our bird boxes, if we place any type of strapping around, we give it some slack, to allow the tree room to grow, our zip wire straps are housed inside garden hose, maybe in time stuff will get embedded, but nature will always win in the end, she has more time here than us :D
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Re: attaching things to living trees

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:06 pm

It should be remembered the heartwood of a tree isn't alive, its just a series of solid lignified tubes that support the leaves and true living bit of the tree, the outer layers & sapwood.

The worst thing you could do to a tree is hammer in a copper or brass nail or screw- copper poisons trees. As long as you weren't causing the tree to lean or pulling it in one direction which would stress the routes, I don't thin you'd cause it any harm. Tying something restrictive tightly round a branch like a nylon rope isn't a bright idea, it'll be like ring barking and as the tree grows it could kill the branch. Also, any metal left in a tree might not be appreciated if its grown over and then subsequently felled and sawn- 6" nails give chainsaws bad indigestion.
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Re: attaching things to living trees

Postby Dexter's Shed » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:36 pm

oldclaypaws wrote: subsequently felled and sawn- 6" nails give chainsaws bad indigestion.


funny story there.....

one of my redneck ideas for removing a rotten oak branch from about 40ft up in the canopy, was to shoot it numerous times with the 12 gauge, which didn't work, we then later had the whole tree cut down, some time later when I was using the chainsaw on the branches, we were getting sparks like on firework night, it was then that I remembered the amount of lead shot the branch had in it :lol:
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Re: attaching things to living trees

Postby smojo » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:18 pm

The worst thing you could do to a tree is hammer in a copper or brass nail or screw- copper poisons trees.


That's interesting, something new every day - often from old-mine-of-information Paws

Dexter - love the story about trying to shoot the branch down. There is a similar story that has been going around here locally. Some years ago, a notorious "character" was lying in bed with his wife and asked her to get up and turn the light out. She refused and an argument about who should di it ensued. Finally he picked his airgun up from the side of the bed and shot the bulb out :lol:
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Re: attaching things to living trees

Postby Wendelspanswick » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:23 pm

Don't know if I have posted this before but in the sawmill that I worked at the bandmill hit something in a large oak butt and wrecked the blade. It was my job to dig whatever it was out and it turned out to be a large galvanised bucket handle! I guess that years ago someone had hung a bucket over a branch and over time it had been absorbed into the tree.
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