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  1. #1
    New Member Daisypetal's Avatar
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    Random Questions

    After reading that sad tragic story about the tree falling on a little girl, what does one look for when choosing a tree?

    Do you have a tree preference? Any tree species you keep away from?

    How high up the tree do you like to hang your hammock? I am short, like half inch under 5 feet. Not sure what I will end up doing.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.
    Daisypetal

  2. #2

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    I find that I usually put my tree straps a bit higher than head level and I'm just a bit taller than you. A lot of it depends on how far apart the trees you're using are; further apart means higher up for the straps.

    I tend to look for living trees that don't show any obvious signs of damage and don't have dead limbs that might fall on me. They're generally 10-15" in diameter but I'd be fine with hanging from something a bit smaller as long as it looked sturdy. I never really look for this, but it would be good to look at nearby trees and make sure none look like they might fall onto you. In the spring/summer/fall I base living on leaves but in the winter I have to go more by things like the condition of the bark. Living trees don't generally have their bark falling off.

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    The further the trees are apart, the higher the straps should be up the tree. Check out the hammock hang calculator to see how tree distance affects strap height.

    http://theultimatehang.com/hammock-hang-calculator/

    You can use a stick or hiking pole to push the straps up the tree if you're short.

    I generally give the tree a good push first. I agree with BryanS - find a tree with the bark in good condition and no wounds. A tree with mushrooms or shelf fungus growing on it is a red flag for lack of health and possible heart rot. Generally, I trust conifers more than hardwoods; less susceptible to heart rot.

    On the East Coast, I stay away from Atlantic White Cedars. On the one hand, they're great because they don't produce widowmaker branches. On the other, the tree itself is a widowmaker - if it's rotten it just falls over unexpectedly.
    “The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.” - Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    New Member Daisypetal's Avatar
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    Thanks gentleman. This is interesting stuff I never imagined I would be so in to. That hang calculator is very helpful.
    Daisypetal

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisypetal View Post
    Thanks gentleman. This is interesting stuff I never imagined I would be so in to. That hang calculator is very helpful.
    I think it's the most useful thing noobs/dummies have with regard to understanding tree distance, suspension length, hang angle, etc. I used to have 8 ft. straps and 10 ft. whoopies 'cause I wanted to err on the side of caution. The hammock hang calculator helped me understand that I was erring on the side of stupidity. Once I understood things a bit better, I realized my suspension was overkill and dropped to 4 ft. straps and 6 ft. whoopies - more than enough length to address even 25 ft. spans (though I do bring a couple of Amsteel continuous loops just in case, to extend my suspension).

    If you're dealing with old growth forest like in the Pacific Northwest, longer straps are advisable. However, I would imagine that they clear-cut the heck out of Wisconsin about a century ago and that none of your trees are big enough to warrant longer straps.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 01-16-2015 at 22:02.
    “The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.” - Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    Brady's Avatar
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    Select a live tree, I would never hang on a dead tree. For thickness, I push and pull on the tree. If I can bend it, I don't use it unless there is no other option nearby, no one likes a saggy tarp...

    From the center of your hang spot, look up for any widowmakers, you don't want a big branch coming down on you in the night. Also look around for other trees. Are they leaning in your direction? If so, either look for another spot or fell the suspect tree if you're not in a park.

    My tree preference is for douglas for, red cedar since that's most common around me. I avoid the poplar family since they can be fairly brittle and break easily up top.

    I hang at my sit height, erring on the low end as I've had a stand break under heavy snow load and I don't like falling. As long as my UQ is not touching the grass or ground I'm happy. How high up the tree depends on the distance between trees. SilvrSurfr got it with the hang calc, if you're new, use it. After a while you won't need to but it's a great learning tool!

    At under five feet, look for short tree distance so you're not struggling to place your straps too high.

    Cheers, enjoy!
    Brady

  7. #7
    canoebie's Avatar
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    I have heated my house with wood for more than 50 years, cut a lot of trees, spend a lot of time in the woods when I paddle 500+ miles a year and camp along river banks. I have some experience with trees. I think one of the best ways to assess the health of a tree is to look at the bark. Trees that are stressed will often shred bark. Also, check the base of the tree or the "knuckles" of the root system as it goes out into the ground. Do they look alive and healthy are there signs of decay and rot. Are other trees in the area healthy, are they the same species if so does the stand look healthy, if not are there others in the forest that appear to be unhealthy because of soil or moisture conditions. Trees that are in "adolescence" also are a preference as they are at the peak of growth. I look for trees 1-2 ft. in diameter in northern Michigan. Hope this helps. Spend time touching, moving, looking up, looking down, become observant and check out the forest all the time. You will be amazed what the power of observation will teach you. Learn to identify species and their strengths and weaknesses. I really enjoy this part of time out and about.

    Hang in there.
    Revolution is about the need to re-evolve political, economic and social justice and power back into the hands of the people, preferably through legislation and policies that make human sense. That's what revolution is about. Revolution is not about shootouts.

    Bobby Seale


    http://www.riverjourneys.org

  8. #8
    Member
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    I bought this book which helped me learn some things and being a noob at hammock hanging helped me a lot. Also written by member here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/146626...=AC_SY200_QL40. The kindle version is $3.99

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