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  1. #1
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    Widow / Widower Maker Signs

    Hi there,

    After an evening a couple weeks ago where I pitched and then RE-PITCHED after seeing one of the trees swaying a bit too much for my liking, I thought I would open up this thread as a public service. I am definitely not an arborist but I wonder if folks here have reasonable thoughts about what to look for when it comes to dead branches, diseased trunks, weak root systems, species knowledge, etc. that might be good to consider when pitching. I certainly do a bit of a "shake test" but I am sure the folks here could build a pretty good checklist.

    Thanks in advance. Be safe out there.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GadgetUK437's Avatar
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    Hug your tree.
    If you can touch your elbows then it is safer than if you can only touch fingertips, i.e. The younger, the safer (as long as it's at least as thick as your thigh).

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  3. #3
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetUK437 View Post
    Hug your tree.
    If you can touch your elbows then it is safer than if you can only touch fingertips, i.e. The younger, the safer (as long as it's at least as thick as your thigh).

    --
    Gadget.
    Hugging the tree is accurate on the surface... But widow makers can be all around you... Scanning the entire area for other trees with overhanging dead branches or dead trees that lean or are potentially wind blown over the intended hang site should be conducted.

    And yes, older neighbor trees should be suspect.

    LOOK Up and LOOK AROUND

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  4. #4
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    Species knowledge is a good thing to know for your area as well. For example I try to never hang on birch/popple trees if I can help it and especially stay away from larger, older birch trees. They are notorious widow makers up here in the north woods. I had four massive birch go down on my property this past weekend after a large storm. Each and every one of them came down on my little trail that runs back to the national forest behind me.
    Once you're lost in twilight's blue, you don't find your way, the way finds you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mrh_on's Avatar
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    Huh. I'm usually looking at ancient pines and thinking "looks very healthy. ..that tree isn't going anywhere in my lifetime".

    Interesting differences in philosophies.
    Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MrsKD's Avatar
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    Living in an area that is known for its massive tornadoes, it is just something second nature. A lot of the time, you will look up and see limbs hanging out in the tops of trees that do not even belong to that tree. I'm careful with older white oaks as the ones in my yard seem to drop branches ALL. THE. TIME.

  7. #7
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    I'm not an arbourist but have seen a couple of news stories in the past where seemingly healthy trees have fallen and killed people. The thing about the tree was they looked good because they had an full canopy of leaves and the bark also looked ok but the pictures showed that the core of the tree was rotten. I guess that makes sense since the cambium layer that transports nutrient up to the leaves is just under the bark hence the reason we are so concerned about using tree huggers.

    For me its look up and around as best as possible and be willing to relocate even after fully setting up if you spot a danger you missed.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  8. #8
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    When it is wet and windy even health trees can come down. Sometimes is a roll of the dice.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member LuvmyBonnet's Avatar
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    I guess you just look for the obvious dead limbs and such but as everyone has said there is no guarantee.
    A big tree came down that Dutch was attached to. Well not Dutch but his hammock. Lol. Fortunately no one was hurt but I figure if Dutch didn't know what chance would I have.
    "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by john99 View Post
    Hi there,

    I am definitely not an arborist but I wonder if folks here have reasonable thoughts about what to look for when it comes to dead branches, diseased trunks, weak root systems, species knowledge, etc. that might be good to consider when pitching.

    Thanks in advance. Be safe out there.
    My reasonable thought is....don't hang from trees with "dead branches, diseased trunks, weak root systems."

    I'm not an arborist either but pretty sure hanging from dead or diseased trees is a bad idea.


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