But what impact does this have on the tree? Is it harmful? Is it potentially dangerous? That’s what we’re here to discuss today. Here’s everything you need to know about using nails and staples on your trees. Let’s jump right in.
In an extremely literal sense – yes, of course it is. You’re driving a metal object into a tree and essentially piercing its skin (bark). It can go deep into the tree, cause deformities and will cause a wound. Sound over the top? That’s because it kind of is.
When you get your ears pierced, you’re technically wounded. It causes a technical deformity and leaves a wound (kind of). Yes it’s not TECHNICALLY good for you, but – in the long run it’s mostly or completely harmless depending on how you do it.
Think of fastening things to a tree in the same light. In order to keep your tree as healthy and safe as possible, you’ll need to be mindful of a few things when you go to start your project.
- Be aware of what types of nails or screws you’re using. Certain ones can be more harmful than others. Try to use stainless steel or aluminum nails as they won’t rust over time. Rust can do a number on your tree, so just be aware of what kind of products you’re using.
- Don’t go nuts with your hammer. The more holes you make, the more stress you’ll place on the tree. Plan it out, measure it out and don’t turn your tree trunk into Swiss cheese, please. S
- ome species of tree are super safe and tree that’s capable of withstanding just about any project mankind would like to build in it. Other trees are not and can be profoundly impacted by the use of nails. They can also represent a significant safety issue. Long story, short – just be aware of what kind of tree you’re working with.
It’s really not going to make a huge difference where you drill or nail, although the health of the tree itself is what you need to be most conscious of. If a tree’s in good shape, it’ll begin a process called compartmentalization which basically the tree will heal around the wound and will even protect itself from infection from the nail. Whatever you’re fastening to the tree will be held in, as sturdy and as safe as can be.
When it comes to unhealthy trees, nails can bring infection, cause splits and other potentially dangerous structural defects. Make sure that the tree you want to use can take on the burden you’re about to place on it.
Anything I should stay away from?
Try to avoid areas of a tree where it looks like it’s weakened and/or damaged by an infection. You’ll run the risk of opening a new wound that allows an infection or pests to creep into and run rampant throughout your tree. That means an already weak tree will be even weaker due to poor nutrient flow.
Other than that you should be fine. Just don’t overburden an already stressed out tree and do something that’s clearly crazy – like attaching something big and heavy to a skinny branch.
Projects can be a lot of fun. It’s great to see kids on swings, birds gathering to feed and it’s even better
when it’s you swinging in a hammock reading a book with no one there to bug you. Just be sure you do your homework so that everyone – tree included – is safe and sound. Good luck!