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  1. #21
    Member tim_n's Avatar
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    No reason not to take a bit of extra paracord and if a tree doesn't look substantial enough or you're worried that it may have issues, use the cord to brace it against another, or even peg out guys. It'll go a long way to helping you out.

  2. #22
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    snow is a whole nother can of worms when you're hanging. I found that out last year when we had that one night of snow here in my area. Since we get snow so seldom, I hung in my favorite trees in my backyard. The next morning, I'm pretty much still asleep, sort of just at that almost awake stage. When I heard a huge crack very very near me. Well that woke me up real quick and I got up to find out what it was. One of the oaks that I sometimes use to hang from, had a limb down on the ground. All the oaks were bent almost double with the weight of the snow, including the ones I'm hanging from. I left my hammock and got myself inside the house. Later that day, after the snow melted (and yes, we can get 5" of snow and it's gone by that afternoon), anyways, I found several of my oaks had broken branches. These are very healthy trees too, they just couldn't take the weight of the snow. So when hanging, be aware of incoming weather too.

  3. #23
    Member tim_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinaLouise View Post
    snow is a whole nother can of worms when you're hanging. I found that out last year when we had that one night of snow here in my area. Since we get snow so seldom, I hung in my favorite trees in my backyard. The next morning, I'm pretty much still asleep, sort of just at that almost awake stage. When I heard a huge crack very very near me. Well that woke me up real quick and I got up to find out what it was. One of the oaks that I sometimes use to hang from, had a limb down on the ground. All the oaks were bent almost double with the weight of the snow, including the ones I'm hanging from. I left my hammock and got myself inside the house. Later that day, after the snow melted (and yes, we can get 5" of snow and it's gone by that afternoon), anyways, I found several of my oaks had broken branches. These are very healthy trees too, they just couldn't take the weight of the snow. So when hanging, be aware of incoming weather too.
    Suprised by that, Oaks are pretty much the strongest trees I know. I've had trouble pulling down dead branches from oaks in the UK...

  4. #24
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim_n View Post
    Suprised by that, Oaks are pretty much the strongest trees I know. I've had trouble pulling down dead branches from oaks in the UK...
    yea, I sure wasn't expecting to see them bent over either. I don't know about them being the strongest tree around here. I've had hurricanes come through and they'd just fall over. The pines usually end up topping themselves (just the top portion would come down). I've seen huge magnolias actually twist and still stay standing. But my oaks, they are sort of finnicky. My live oaks, bent down and when the snow melted, they straightened back up. Some of them had broken branches. I've had a few of my turkey oaks just completely fall down during minor hurricanes. Again, these were healthy trees, at least as far as I could tell.

  5. #25
    Member blisterboy's Avatar
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    one more test you can try is take one of your stakes dig down a few inches and stab the base of the tree. That will tell you if there is any rot bellow ground level.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Frawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blisterboy View Post
    one more test you can try is take one of your stakes dig down a few inches and stab the base of the tree. That will tell you if there is any rot bellow ground level.
    Excellent thought. We've had two trees come down unexpectedly in my Northern VA neighborhood -- a quite large white oak across the street, and a fairly large (~20" diam) red oak next door. Both looked pretty healthy, as far as branches and leaves went, but both had rotted or infested root systems. Scary!

    Here's a USDA/Forestry Service report that might be useful: How to Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees.

    Edit: here's a USDA/FS sponsored pdf file from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Homeowner's Guide to Safer Trees.
    Last edited by Frawg; 09-22-2010 at 19:59.
    - Frawg

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  7. #27
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    That's an intersting guide. Good information on page 10.
    Note to self: Bring along a masonry trowel, tape mesure, binoculars and a Coleman tent stake mallot on next backpack trip.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

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