Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hammock
    Most
    Tarp
    GoLite Poncho Tarp
    Insulation
    Phoenix, Burrow
    Suspension
    Whoopie Hook
    Posts
    2,227
    Images
    207

    When Hugging Kills Trees

    Interesting read on trees.

    The article has nothing to do with hammock tree huggers, tree straps, or webbing straps, as we are like to call them, but a perspective on the not-so-obvious impact we have on living things around us, specifically trees.

    This reminded me of a recent controversy where I work at Northern Arizona University I thought I'd share. In an indirect way, this information has helped influence my appreciation for trees and how to hang in a more responsible manner.

    A few months ago, progress on a project to "green up" an old section on campus was halted due to protests from several individuals. The quad had grown from a barren field in the 1800s to a tree-lined parking lot that was enjoyed by many people today. The plans included removing the road and parking lot and turning the space into a pedestrian park with a wide walkway that circled the perimeter of the area, connecting all the old buildings. Some dying trees were slated for removal along with other trees that were adjacent to buildings to make way for this dual-use sidewalk/emergency vehicle access path.

    The protesters didn't want to see any trees removed from the space, and recommended the walkway weave around the trees instead of removing them to make way for the path.

    What I found interesting in the outcome was to hear from arborists and other landscaping experts who did several studies on the space. They informed everyone that weaving the path around the trees would cause more damage to more trees than just removing the few that were in the path's way. The experts pointed out that the pressure on the walkway damages the tree's root system, something I hadn't considered before.

    Ironically, the space also included several non-native "water hungry" trees brought to campus from back East. These trees were not surviving due to their demands for water, which the natural environment does not supply in great abundance. New, native trees will replace almost all those that will be removed.

    While not everyone was pleased with the final decision, a lot of folks, myself included, learned more about the complexities of our impact and interactions with trees.

    When it comes to hammocks, I know there is a lot of debate about whether our activities have any noticeable impact and if some techniques, like webbing straps, are really worthwhile. It often takes years for damage to present itself in a tree, especially damage caused to a root system or to an area on the bark. However, in popular areas with lots of use, impact and damage can be seen much sooner (and in some species, almost immediately).

    One of the eventualities we may see in popular parks and campgrounds will be the introduction of fixed hammock stands, perhaps over a box of sand. While this sounds pretty cool in some ways, the restrictions on not being able to hang "wherever we want" on trees may come as a shock.

    Webbing straps, in my opinion, are an easy solution to help minimize the impact (seen and unseen) hammocks have on trees. I'm an ultralighter, a self-proclaimed "gram-weenie," who's found a way to be lightweight _and_ still use straps. You can have your cake and eat it too, if going lightweight is your cuppa. For those who care less about pack weight, webbing straps offer no penalties.

    And if you muscled your way through this entire tripe, thanks. I think that what we promote on the forums, what we practice in the field, and what we teach to others in some large measure will come back to use. If we sow goodwill, we will reap a rich harvest.

    "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
    -- Nelson Henderson

  2. #2
    Senior Member clb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    North East Texas Pineywoods
    Hammock
    WB Traveler
    Tarp
    HG 4 season cuben
    Insulation
    Yeti UQ/Burrow TQ
    Suspension
    Whoopie slings
    Posts
    198
    Well said Dejoha,
    Good article as well, thanks for sharing.
    Leigh
    aka LookinUp

    He who would travel happily must travel light.
    Antoine de St. Exupery

  3. #3
    Senior Member olzeke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Largo, Fl near Tampa
    Hammock
    WBBB Dbl 1.1
    Tarp
    OES deluxe
    Insulation
    UGQ
    Suspension
    whoopies
    Posts
    903
    Nice to read about a school caring for their green spaces.

  4. #4
    Acer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southern Indiana Wooded Hills
    Hammock
    WBRR, Diy M90 MR Gathered
    Tarp
    WL Tadpole
    Insulation
    Lynx/UGQ/Jarbidge
    Suspension
    Straps/Whoop/Dutch
    Posts
    3,887
    Images
    19
    Well stated,,nice viewpoint!

  5. #5
    gunner76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Beaufort, NC
    Hammock
    Blackbird 1.7 double
    Tarp
    HG Cuben
    Insulation
    UGQs ZEPPELIN
    Suspension
    Dutch Clips
    Posts
    8,214
    Images
    39
    Having fixed hammock poles at parks could be a great idea as some parks I have camped at had very few trees suitable for hanging a hammock. One time I had to set up a tent (for give me brothers and sisters for I have sinned ) as there no trees suitable for hanging, very uncomfortable night.
    Frosty Butt Hang Jan 2015 .................. Fat Butt Hang April 2015..........Hunger / Halloween Hang Oct 2015

    neusioktrail.org ..................... Free Hammock Classes

    I am 18 with 44 years of experience !

  6. #6
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Hammock
    Varies
    Tarp
    GargoyleGear Ogee
    Insulation
    UQ-varies w/season
    Suspension
    onrope buckle
    Posts
    6,270
    Good stuff, Derek, thank you.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
    John Steinbeck

  7. #7
    Senior Member Theo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Texarkana, TX
    Hammock
    Warbonnet BB
    Posts
    426
    Never thought about the damage done to the root system. Wonder how much damage is being done by ground dwellers. ( not a flame but just wondering)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Briggs, TX
    Hammock
    Hennessy Safari, Eno Doublenest
    Insulation
    Homemade Undrquilt
    Posts
    188
    For you self named gram weenies, how about dual use - Backpack straps/Tree straps. You would obviously have to modify your existing backpack, or start making new backpacks with removable straps that you could use to hang with when you get to your destination. I know someone was talking about a hammock backpack, but this might be a little more feasible and still have some appeal for the "gram-weenies". I also know there is the issue of sap, etc. But that's a solvable problem with something like a bandanna to wrap around the tree.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Hammock
    Hennesy
    Tarp
    various
    Insulation
    pads, foam
    Posts
    4,471
    Images
    17
    Nice article, thanks. Nature is seldom simple.





    Quote Originally Posted by Theo View Post
    Never thought about the damage done to the root system. Wonder how much damage is being done by ground dwellers. ( not a flame but just wondering)
    Look at the bare packed earth in some campsites and you get your answer. That is one reason why hammocks used properly are potentially more environmentally friendly. More places to hang and more places to put your feet. The fire pit area will always get pounded. ;-)

  10. #10
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hammock
    Most
    Tarp
    GoLite Poncho Tarp
    Insulation
    Phoenix, Burrow
    Suspension
    Whoopie Hook
    Posts
    2,227
    Images
    207
    Quote Originally Posted by Theo View Post
    Never thought about the damage done to the root system. Wonder how much damage is being done by ground dwellers. ( not a flame but just wondering)
    That's a good question. I know that sleeping on the ground has an immediate impact on vegetation (trampling). Long-term tenting in one spot can burn the plants underneath, and heavily-used sites with lots of traffic can compact an area and make it devoid of plant life. I'd have to do more research on the impact on trees.

    I had the folks at Leave No Trace review my hammock book and they talked about the growing problem of "site creep" that they are seeing. Site creep is what they call the phenomenon when tenters create larger camping spots because they don't want to set up a tent in the mud, or on bare ground (who does, right?). The problem is that the impact spreads or "creeps" to where a site, like a shelter on the AT, has large pockets of dirt where no one wants to camp. The problem only gets bigger.

    My editor at LNT was so excited about hammock camping -- very supportive. His recommendation to me was to encourage people to hang in places that would be inhospitable to tents, like over rocks, sloping hillsides, etc., _because we can_. Hammocks allow backpackers to eliminate site creep, when done correctly.

Similar Threads

  1. Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated
    By GT in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-14-2013, 20:28
  2. Taking Tree-Hugging to New Heights
    By Rob_ in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-15-2010, 15:35
  3. Hammock Hugging Problem
    By dufus934 in forum Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-11-2008, 23:07
  4. Compression kills?
    By pure_mahem in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-30-2008, 00:42

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •