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Nails In Trees? Not allowed?

#1 User is offline   Birdsong-n-Bud 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:10 AM

I have a question...I'm in the process of having a cache reviewed, and the reviewer mentioned that there are no nails allowed in trees. :P I can't find this anywhere in the rules, can someone direct me to that, please? This was just a dead snag.

#2 User is offline   YuccaPatrol 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:14 AM

I've only found about 60 caches and several of them have had nails or screws in trees.

#3 User is offline   Takachsin 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:19 AM

DON'T put nails in trees!

If you had ever hit one with a chain saw or seen what happens in a sawmill when their very expensive saw blade hits one, you would understand why.

It is not only likely to do a lot of damage to the equipment, it is very likely to cause significent physical injury to those operating that equipment.

Many sawmills run their logs through an x-ray machine to check for metal (nails, chains, fence fragments, etc).

Takachsin

#4 User is offline   Birdsong-n-Bud 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:26 AM

Quote

I've only found about 60 caches and several of them have had nails or screws in trees.


Same here. I *thought* I'd read the rules very carefully, but hadn't noticed the nail rule. :P

#5 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:35 AM

I don't think there is a "no nail rule" spelled out, but it is a bad idea. We have enough trouble with the misconceptions that many land managers have about our sport and some associated image issues. The last thing we need is for them to find out we're putting nails in trees.

Is a nail going to kill a tree? Probably not, but it does make us look bad.

#6 User is offline   CYBret 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:39 AM

Here in Illinois, the Department of Natural Resources have geocaching regulations for their parks. One of those regulations is that caches are not to be attached to trees. So no nails, screws, etc.

I'm not sure that I've ever seen this as a geocaching.com policy (not to say that it's not there).

I've encountered a few caches with nails in trees and they always make me a bit uneasy. It's not that I'm concerned about the tree or about chainsaws (for the most part these aren't major concerns in the trees that are used), but I realize there is the perception out there that putting nails in trees is wrong and some of the people with this perception tend to get very vocal.

In the long run, there's probably a better way.

Bret

#7 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:07 AM

Quote

but I realize there is the perception out there that putting nails in trees is wrong and some of the people with this perception tend to get very vocal.


I build and maintain hiking trails in NJ. It's a common practice for us to attach metal trail blazes to trees with nails. This practice has met with some very strenuous objections from a small segment of hikers. Not from the state DEP and park rangers mind you. The practice is fine with them, but we hear it from the granola crunchers.

We don't need to have these people complaining to the authorities about our sport because it just doesn't look good.

As Cybret said, there are better ways. I have two caches in trees. One is held in place with a bungee cord and the other with a little wire wrapped around a branch.

#8 User is offline   Divine 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:12 AM

If you know the tree owner and get a permission from him/her, then it would be quite ok. Though, even then the drawback is that some finders will probably start to copy that idea on places where they won't get a permission. Better find 'softer' solutions.

#9 User is offline   New England n00b 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:31 AM

Ditto CYBret, briansnat and Divine.

#10 User is offline   CoyoteRed 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:36 AM

Around here, you go attaching caches to trees with a nail, they'd probably put you in the chipper too. Lot of timber land around, both lumber and paper. Even permanent tree stands can't be attached with nails or screws into the tree.

Yes, some land managers attach blazes to trees, but you have to understand these are generally well monitored. While I'm sure there are some blazes with the tree forced to grow around it, I've yet to see one. Second, blazed tree is unlikely to be harvested.

I'm sure if permisson from the owner of the tree is granted your cache will be approved. In this case, I see little difference than a hole dug. You are defacing property. If the owner is fine with that...

Yes, it is different than Sharpie on the back of a street sign which is not a permanent marking.

#11 User is offline   Mr. TSP 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:54 AM

You could always make a "nail" out of a small wooden dowel and pound it into a natural hole already in the tree. Not sure if this would be acceptable?

#12 User is offline   Mopar 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 07:17 AM

It doesn't have to be a geocaching.com rule.
All other rules and laws apply to geocachers too.
While it probably is not going to hurt the trees, it's generally considered poor practice and depending on where you hid the cache is probably illegal as well.
I see you are also in CT. Did you know there is a state law forbidding it without the land manager's permission in CT?

link

Quote

Any person, firm or corporation which affixes to a telegraph, telephone, electric light or power pole, or to a tree, shrub, rock or other natural object in any public way or grounds, a playbill, picture, notice, advertisement or other similar thing, or cuts, paints or marks such tree, shrub, rock or other natural object, except for the purpose of protecting it or the public and under a written permit from the town tree warden, the borough tree warden, city forester or Commissioner of Transportation, as the case may be, or, without the consent of the tree warden or of the officer with similar duties, uses climbing spurs for the purpose of climbing any ornamental or shade tree within the limits of any public highway or grounds, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars for each offense.


I'm sure most other states, as well as local parks have similar laws on the books.
While one nail probably isn't hurting anyone, what if each person who visited a park nailed a tree? I've camped in places where there were all sorts of rusty nails hanging out of trees where thoughtless campers had hung lanterns, hammocks or clotheslines. Besides possibly killing someone if sometime in the future the tree needs to be removed or pruned and a chainsaw hits it, there is also a danger of someone getting cut or gouged on a protruding, rusty and hard to notice nail; especially if it's along a trail.

This post has been edited by Mopar: 18 November 2004 - 07:18 AM


#13 User is offline   Thot 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 07:19 AM

Iíve seen this objection to nails in trees here before. Sawmills aside I fail to see any harm from this practice. Tree houses are predicated on the practice. On the farm we stapled fences to conveniently located trees and the trees grew over the ďbob wireĒ embedding it in the tree. We put lots of nails for various purposes in trees around the working area of the farm. None of this killed any trees. The embedded barbed wire was probably painful but other than that . . . :P I canít exactly recall the details, but people put nails in trees believing it was beneficial to the tree under some condition or the other -- nails for medicinal purposes.

The concern over nails in trees seems misplaced to me.

But, my question is, what about dead trees? Is it frowned on to put nails in long dead trees?

#14 User is offline   kingsting 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 07:21 AM

I had an idea for a multi where I had originally planned to use stainless (no rust) screws to fasten a big container to a tree, but after some thought I came up with an idea to fasten the container with bicycle brake cables wrapped around the tree. They went through one side of the container, around the tree and back through to the other side of the container. I used pinch bolts to secure them and allow for tension adjustment. The cables come with black plastic housing so no metal even touches the tree. With the cables pulled up tight, the container doesn't move and it can easily be removed later with no damage to the tree.

:P

#15 User is offline   Mopar 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 07:38 AM

Thot, on Nov 18 2004, 10:19 AM, said:

Iíve seen this objection to nails in trees here before.  Sawmills aside I fail to see any harm from this practice.  Tree houses are predicated on the practice.  On the farm we stapled fences to conveniently located trees and the trees grew over the ďbob wireĒ embedding it in the tree.  We put lots of nails for various purposes in trees around the working area of the farm.  None of this killed any trees.  The embedded barbed wire was probably painful but other than that . . .  :P  I canít exactly recall the details, but people put nails in trees believing it was beneficial to the tree under some condition or the other -- nails for medicinal purposes.

The concern over nails in trees seems misplaced to me. 

But, my question is, what about dead trees?  Is it frowned on to put nails in long dead trees?

I think the biggest issue is it's perceived bad by many people. Harmful or not, if land managers and the public in general perceive what we do as harmful, we are going to have problems. Perceived harmful or not, if the practice in fact violates a law or rule already in place on that land, it most definitely will become a problem for us.

And the actual harm is not just sawmills. What about trail maintenence? Even if your tree is off trail now, trails are often relocated. Trees are also pruned and cut to maintain the general health of a forest. Public forests are often opened to the public for personal firewood collection. Lastly, offtrail trees may be cut with chainsaws as a break in case of forestfire. So it's not just sawmills that may have a problem with nails in trees. Trail workers, firefighters, and the guy trying to save a few bucks on his heating bill can all be injured or killed.

This post has been edited by Mopar: 18 November 2004 - 07:44 AM


#16 User is offline   Torry 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 07:50 AM

The GC rulebook was never intended to be six inches thick to cover every detail. The Powers That Be and your fellow cachers assume a certain amount of common sense that would cover such things as nails in trees or any practice that harms the area.

I have yet to find a cache that could ONLY have been placed by nailing it to a tree.

#17 User is offline   JohnnyVegas 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:29 AM

Mopar, on Nov 18 2004, 07:38 AM, said:

So it's not just sawmills that may have a problem with nails in trees. Trail workers, firefighters, and the guy trying to save a few bucks on his heating bill can all be injured or killed.

In Ca. one of the reasons the forest fires so bad is because the fire fighters have their hands tied and have been restricted when in come to cutting trees down for a fire break, In some fires they have not been allowed to even build fire breaks.
If they do, the state gets sued by groups like earth first.

#18 User is offline   CoyoteRed 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:47 AM

JohnnyVegas, on Nov 18 2004, 11:29 AM, said:

If they do, the state gets sued by groups like earth first.

Yeah, "don't cut it down. Let it burn!"

Makes perfect sense to me! <_<

#19 User is offline   markandlynn 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:49 AM

Copper and brass nails are poisonous to trees.

#20 User is offline   RichardMoore 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:49 AM

JohnnyVegas, on Nov 18 2004, 11:29 AM, said:

Mopar, on Nov 18 2004, 07:38 AM, said:


So it's not just sawmills that may have a problem with nails in trees. Trail workers, firefighters, and the guy trying to save a few bucks on his heating bill can all be injured or killed.

In Ca. one of the reasons the forest fires so bad is because the fire fighters have their hands tied and have been restricted when in come to cutting trees down for a fire break, In some fires they have not been allowed to even build fire breaks.
If they do, the state gets sued by groups like earth first.

Actually, forest fires are only bad from the human standpoint (IE. loss of structures and personal property.)
Forest fires are not only a natural occurrence, but they are necessary to develop a healthy and diverse forest ecosystem.

#21 User is offline   mtn-man 

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  Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:57 AM

Thot, on Nov 18 2004, 10:19 AM, said:

Iíve seen this objection to nails in trees here before. Sawmills aside I fail to see any harm from this practice. Tree houses are predicated on the practice. On the farm we stapled fences to conveniently located trees and the trees grew over the ďbob wireĒ embedding it in the tree. We put lots of nails for various purposes in trees around the working area of the farm. None of this killed any trees. The embedded barbed wire was probably painful but other than that . . . <_< I canít exactly recall the details, but people put nails in trees believing it was beneficial to the tree under some condition or the other -- nails for medicinal purposes.

The concern over nails in trees seems misplaced to me.

But, my question is, what about dead trees? Is it frowned on to put nails in long dead trees?

Something missed in your statement is that the examples you give are for trees that are on *your* land that *you* own. Feel free to drive nails, run barbed wire fences though or chop down any trees that are on *your* land.

I'm sure you would not want me coming onto your land and damaging your trees to place a geocache on your property without your permission. Don't you think that land managers who manage public lands feel the same way about their trees?

#22 User is offline   RJFerret 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:58 AM

Quote

Copper and brass nails are poisonous to trees.


No they aren't--that's a myth. Myth Reference

Copper is an ingredient in fungicides though!

I like the quote from this arboriculture site's forum:

Quote

It is true that a copper nail will kill a tree if the nail diameter is larger that the trunk diameter.


Hehe..

OTOH, please be careful when talking about putting things around trees. The living part of the tree that passes nutrients is the cambium, which lies just under the bark (the interior being inert wood). You can gird a tree by constricting it--which will kill it as it grows. That's as affective as strangling a person!

When I made a reflector trail night geocache, I wrapped tape around limbs (not trunks) and adhered the sticky side against itself, so as the limb grows it'll push the tape apart.

Anything that relies on adjustment to be loosened also does in the tree if you move/forget/die/etc.

Enjoy (responsibly),

Randy

#23 User is offline   Thot 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:53 PM

mtn-man, on Nov 18 2004, 10:57 AM, said:

Something missed in your statement is that the examples you give are for trees that are on *your* land that *you* own.  . . .

I'm sure you would not want me coming onto your land and damaging your trees to place a geocache on your property without your permission.  . . .

Something you're missing in your statement is that I wouldn't want you coming to my house and placing caches in my yard at all. If, on the other hand, I owned a wooded area where I was willing to permit strangers to place caches, I would not mind if they drove a nail in a tree associated with the cache every once in a while.

This post has been edited by Thot: 18 November 2004 - 05:55 PM


#24 User is offline   CompuCash 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:56 PM

markandlynn, on Nov 18 2004, 09:49 AM, said:

Copper and brass nails are poisonous to trees.


THANK YOU!!!

my grandfather used to kill trees he did not want with a couple copper nails.

me thinks the myth page is a myth.

This post has been edited by CompuCash: 18 November 2004 - 06:01 PM


#25 User is offline   Thot 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:03 PM

Torry, on Nov 18 2004, 08:50 AM, said:

I have yet to find a cache that could ONLY have been placed by nailing it to a tree.

Iíve seen at least one youíd have to be damn clever to do and expect it to remain any length of time without nails or screws or something to attach it to the tree. And, it happened to be a quite clever, interesting one. Because Iíve seen the objection to nails made here I chose not to post a picture with my log for fear someone would turn it in and get it destroyed.

#26 User is offline   Logscaler and Red 

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  Posted 18 November 2004 - 06:27 PM

Professional opinion coming up.

Iron based nails in trees are a bad thing. Nails made from aluminum are preferred for trail markers, informational signs, hanging quill pig tails from, no trespassing signs, etc.

I have to deal with hundreds if not thousands of logs every day and any that I find with iron nails in them get culled out, marked out, sawn out and thrown into the trash pile. Period. No one gets paid for them and if you send enough, the mill will ban you from bringing any more logs. The same cull rule also applies for those trees with embedded fence wire, cable, tricycle's, guns, tire irons, phone wire, telegraph wire, horse shoes, railroad spikes, flower pots, crosscut saws, picnic tables, car bumpers, meat poles, water pumps, road signs, etc.

Copper nails will have little or no effect on trees. I base this on the fact that I have seen thousands of trees with copper jacketed bullets get sawn. The tree usually just pitches around the wound and keeps on going. Unless enough lead is thrown at the tree to blow it in half or girdle it.

When I hang items from a tree for cache hunts, I use drywall screws and attach them to a limb and not the bole of the tree. Stainless steel nails will be "killer" in sawmills. At least iron based nails leave a tell tail iron oxide trace in the butt of the tree for me to use to locate nails. Stainless steel will not.

But if your going to hang something from a barkless snag - "wildlife tree" (bugfood aka widowmaker) no harm no foul as far as I am concerned. There is no bark to grow over and hide the metal objects.

logscaler.

(edit for stupid fingers)

This post has been edited by logscaler: 18 November 2004 - 06:35 PM


#27 User is offline   Sputnik 57 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:11 PM

I thinking about placing a cache hung by a pully from a tree. I thought about suspending the pully with a zip tie from a hign branch. A thread would run from the cache, through the pully, to a spool that would allow the cache finder to quickly lower and raise the cache (not too original, I know).

I plan to hide the spool behind a piece of wood with bark the same type as the tree, attaching the cover by (here's where I get into trouble) drilling two small holes into the tree, inserting a dowel into each hole so the they point up at an angle, and fitting the dowels into holes in the back of my "cover" bark.

No nails, but . . . waddaya think?

BTW, the tree is in a public park. I have permission to hide a cache in the park, but I haven't mentioned the drill and dowel idea <_<

#28 User is offline   Logscaler and Red 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:22 PM

Drill and dowl = Bad idea.

Creates a wound for the bad guys to enter into the tree. There are types of rot and fungi that have to have exposed heartwood for them to enter into the tree and the dowl would be a good start. If you used something like a plastic dowl, that should work out well. No metal to be projectile, no wood for fungi food, not poisonous for the tree, easy to remove when needed and not needed to be very deep. And if you did it in the spring when the sap is starting, it would pitch over any wound sealing the holes.

Myself, I plan on using some old sluffed bark, hardboard, epoxy, screws, chainsaw, hinges and magnetic cupboard latches on a snag. Just finding the time is the hard part.

logscaler.

#29 User is offline   mtn-man 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 08:52 PM

Thot, on Nov 18 2004, 08:53 PM, said:

mtn-man, on Nov 18 2004, 10:57 AM, said:

Something missed in your statement is that the examples you give are for trees that are on *your* land that *you* own.  . . .

I'm sure you would not want me coming onto your land and damaging your trees to place a geocache on your property without your permission.  . . .

Something you're missing in your statement is that I wouldn't want you coming to my house and placing caches in my yard at all. If, on the other hand, I owned a wooded area where I was willing to permit strangers to place caches, I would not mind if they drove a nail in a tree associated with the cache every once in a while.

I did not miss it at all. It was exactly my point. If a land owner prohibits an activity then that prohibition should be respected. If that land owner allows the activity then have at it. In either case you should make sure the land owner will allow it by asking them first.

#30 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:43 PM

Quote

drilling two small holes into the tree, inserting a dowel into each hole so the they point up at an angle, and fitting the dowels into holes in the back of my "cover" bark.

No nails, but . . . waddaya think?


I think drilling holes in trees will make our sport very popular with land managers.

#31 User is offline   Divine 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 12:12 AM

CompuCash, on Nov 19 2004, 03:56 AM, said:

my grandfather used to kill trees he did not want with a couple copper nails.

Wouldn't a saw have been more effective? :blink: :blink:

#32 User is offline   Kit Fox 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 07:20 AM

Sputnik 57, on Nov 18 2004, 08:11 PM, said:

I thinking about placing a cache hung by a pully from a tree. I thought about suspending the pully with a zip tie from a hign branch. A thread would run from the cache, through the pully, to a spool that would allow the cache finder to quickly lower and raise the cache (not too original, I know).



No nails, but . . . waddaya think?


Zip ties are not very UV resistant . The plastic will become brittle and break when exposed to the sun. A better method is a tree support wire that has a rubber hose around it. Another method is a canvas tree strap. These are commonly used on trees to support them.

Here is a link to one type of tree strap that would work well. http://www.amleo.com.../ts24/ts24.jpeg
http://www.amleo.com...view&Words=ts24

#33 User is offline   CoyoteRed 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 07:28 AM

Kit Fox, on Nov 19 2004, 10:20 AM, said:

Zip ties are not very UV resistant .

You can get UV resistant ties. It must say so on the package. In my experience they always come in black, but may be available in other colors.

I used to use them to install banners on a chainlink fences instead of bungees. Keeps jokers from undoing them as easily as they are so close to the ground.

In a situation like quoted though, I'd just use a piece of rope tied in a loose loop.

Whatever you use, use something instead of running the hoisting line over the limb. The friction will cut into the limb.

#34 User is offline   RJFerret 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 08:55 AM

I also hung the pulley from a loop of rope. I also spread the load over two branches rather than just one so the branch could grow without the rope 'cutting into it'.

I'd advise checking it annually as you can easily move it in case the tree starts growing over it.

Enjoy,

Randy

#35 User is offline   AuntieWeasel 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 09:25 AM

RichardMoore, on Nov 18 2004, 09:49 AM, said:

Actually, forest fires are only bad from the human standpoint (IE. loss of structures and personal property.) 
Forest fires are not only a natural occurrence, but they are necessary to develop a healthy and diverse forest ecosystem.

Well, clear-cutting will accomplish much the same thing (albeit with less nitrogen), with the added benefit of harvesting the lumber. Though, I must say, it's a breath-taking shock to come 'round the corner and see twenty or thirty acres of federal forest land mowed down to nubbinses.

#36 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 10:33 AM

AuntieWeasel, on Nov 19 2004, 12:25 PM, said:

RichardMoore, on Nov 18 2004, 09:49 AM, said:

Actually, forest fires are only bad from the human standpoint (IE. loss of structures and personal property.) 
Forest fires are not only a natural occurrence, but they are necessary to develop a healthy and diverse forest ecosystem.

Well, clear-cutting will accomplish much the same thing (albeit with less nitrogen), with the added benefit of harvesting the lumber. Though, I must say, it's a breath-taking shock to come 'round the corner and see twenty or thirty acres of federal forest land mowed down to nubbinses.

Not totally true. Most forest fires (whether naturally occurring, or controlled burns) in healthy forests consume only underbrush, dead branches and leaf litter. Healthy, adult trees are for the most part spared by the fire.

Its when the natural "litter" on the forest floor accumulates after decades of fire suppression that you get the major conflagrations of the kind we experience in the west every few years.

This post has been edited by briansnat: 19 November 2004 - 10:36 AM


#37 User is offline   fly46 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 11:23 AM

briansnat, on Nov 18 2004, 09:43 PM, said:

Quote

drilling two small holes into the tree, inserting a dowel into each hole so the they point up at an angle, and fitting the dowels into holes in the back of my "cover" bark.

No nails, but . . . waddaya think?


I think drilling holes in trees will make our sport very popular with land managers.

Once again, it's a permission thing.
I have a cache that I drilled a hole in a tree to hide... But it was MY tree.
And the branch it's in is already dead.

I wouldn't exactly recommend that to anyone. God that was a pain in the butt.

#38 User is offline   baloo&bd 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 11:27 AM

Just a quick note based on the "zi tie" comments.

Aside from the sawmill and, of course, land owner issues, you can do more harm to a tree or limb "tying" something around it then nailing something to it.

Having said this and taking all other things into account, push back on the approver politely, if they still say no, find another way. They generally have more knowledge about a given area and what you can get a way with than we give them credit for.

#39 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 11:44 AM

fly46, on Nov 19 2004, 02:23 PM, said:

briansnat, on Nov 18 2004, 09:43 PM, said:

Quote

drilling two small holes into the tree, inserting a dowel into each hole so the they point up at an angle, and fitting the dowels into holes in the back of my "cover" bark.

No nails, but . . . waddaya think?


I think drilling holes in trees will make our sport very popular with land managers.

Once again, it's a permission thing.
I have a cache that I drilled a hole in a tree to hide... But it was MY tree.
And the branch it's in is already dead.

I wouldn't exactly recommend that to anyone. God that was a pain in the butt.

If its your tree, you're free to chop it down if you like. I have a feeling most caches however are not placed on the owner's property.

Permission to place a cache doesn't necessarily mean permission to drive nails in, or drill holes in trees. If land managers find this activity occuring you can bet that permission won't be as easy to obtain the next time.

#40 User is offline   SixDogTeam 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 12:05 PM

Takachsin, on Nov 18 2004, 05:19 AM, said:

DON'T put nails in trees!

If you had ever hit one with a chain saw or seen what happens in a sawmill when their very expensive saw blade hits one, you would understand why.

It is not only likely to do a lot of damage to the equipment, it is very likely to cause significent physical injury to those operating that equipment.

Many sawmills run their logs through an x-ray machine to check for metal (nails, chains, fence fragments, etc).

Takachsin

around here, you can't get rid of even a black walnut (That if in the woods would be worth thousands of dollars) that's a yard tree, due to possible nails in them...

#41 User is offline   Markwell 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 12:35 PM

briansnat, on Nov 19 2004, 12:33 PM, said:

Not totally true. Most forest fires (whether naturally occurring, or controlled burns) in healthy forests consume only underbrush, dead branches and leaf litter. Healthy, adult trees are for the most part spared by the fire.

Its when the natural "litter" on the forest floor accumulates after decades of fire suppression that you get the major conflagrations of the kind we experience in the west every few years.

(tangent warning)

I remember visiting Yellowstone after a huge fire in the early 90's. The rangers gave some education on why they let much of the forest burn. There are some trees that actually thrive on forest fires. A particular type of pine (can't remember which after 10 years) has suplimental seed pods that won't crack open UNLESS they reach a minimum temperature. That temp would only be reached in a fire.

Those pods then crack during the fire, and patiently wait until the temps cool, and then EXPLODE forcing their seeds to scatter in the area and on top of the very fertile ash.

I just can't imagine that something like that would happen with these pods if the trees were clear-cut.

OK - back to the topic at hand.

Don't put any nails in the trees. If I remove my cache later, I'd want there to be no trace that I ever put it there to begin with.

#42 User is offline   dsandbro 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 01:16 PM

AuntieWeasel, on Nov 19 2004, 09:25 AM, said:

RichardMoore, on Nov 18 2004, 09:49 AM, said:

Actually, forest fires are only bad from the human standpoint (IE. loss of structures and personal property.) 
Forest fires are not only a natural occurrence, but they are necessary to develop a healthy and diverse forest ecosystem.

Well, clear-cutting will accomplish much the same thing (albeit with less nitrogen), with the added benefit of harvesting the lumber. Though, I must say, it's a breath-taking shock to come 'round the corner and see twenty or thirty acres of federal forest land mowed down to nubbinses.

This is wandering off-topic, but some misinformation is creeping in...


Most fires result in a net loss of soil nitrogen. The nitrates are volatized and go up in smoke. That's why the first plant colonizers following a burn are usually legumes or other nitrogen fixers.

Phosphorous and potassium are commonly reduced too, although in lesser amounts than nitrogen. It all depends on fire intensity, soil chemistry, and soil moisture.

Clear cutting is neither good nor bad. It is highly appropriate and ecologically desirable in certain forest types. Done right in the right place at the right time in the right manner will improve forest biodiversity and make the forest healthier in the long run on the landscape scale. Conversely, individual tree selection harvesting can create an ecological mess in the wrong forest type. Inbetween the two lies a near infinite number of variations and combinations. Harvesting can be tailored to achieve exactly the desired forest structure and composition with almost no risk. The same cannot be said about fires.

Forest fires cannot be said to be all good. Like any natural process, there are ecological side effects both desirable and undesirable. There are too many variables to make the blanket claim. It must be determined on a site-by-site specific basis factoring in ALL the environmental factors, not just wildlife habitat (and fire is not always beneficial to wildlife habitat). People are part of the ecosystem and the human values are just as important as the biological. A number of recent studies on the 2000 and 2002 fires in the Rockies are showing the economic and environmental costs are far greater than the benefits. The 2002 Hayman Fire in Colorado had an economic loss to the watershed that exceeded the economic loss to homes and infrastructure. Contrary to popular belief and the disinformation perpetuated by the environmental industry, old growth is NOT necessarily fire resistant. There are different types of old growth, and most are highly fire susceptible.

Different forest types and different climates all heavy different fire regimes. Some forest types (and other vegetative communities besides forests) evolved with infrequent high intensity fires, others frequent low intensity, and every combination in-between. In the higher elevation spruce and hemlock forest type. for example, historically had centuries between fires, and when a fire did occur it nuked the forest -- that was the norm. At the other end of the extreme NE California eastside pine forests had a fire rotation of three years, burning only the small accumulation of grass and needles. In either case displayed here, the pattern is natural, but is natural always desirable? Increasingly we are finding allowing natural processes to occur unchecked is not always healthy for the environment. Nature often harms the very values we desire to protect.

#43 User is offline   RichardMoore 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 02:20 PM

dsandbro, on Nov 19 2004, 04:16 PM, said:

AuntieWeasel, on Nov 19 2004, 09:25 AM, said:

RichardMoore, on Nov 18 2004, 09:49 AM, said:

Actually, forest fires are only bad from the human standpoint (IE. loss of structures and personal property.) 
Forest fires are not only a natural occurrence, but they are necessary to develop a healthy and diverse forest ecosystem.

Well, clear-cutting will accomplish much the same thing (albeit with less nitrogen), with the added benefit of harvesting the lumber. Though, I must say, it's a breath-taking shock to come 'round the corner and see twenty or thirty acres of federal forest land mowed down to nubbinses.

This is wandering off-topic, but some misinformation is creeping in...


While I agree with your summation of clearcutting and other silvicultural practices, I stand by my original statement about fire.
Only people consider forest fires to be bad. Nature has adapted to their existence.
While there are some undesirable side effects to a forest fire, they do not normally exceed the desirable ones.

You are also correct in stating that "There are too many variables to make a blanket claim," but that holds true for anything that has to do with nature. As one of my instructors was fond of saying, "Forestry is an art, not a science."

By the way, do you happen to have a link to the studies that you mentioned? I would like to read them. Thank you.


Back on topic:
I feel that the problem with driving nails into trees is not so much in the harm that it would do to the tree, or even the future possibility of a saw hitting the nail ( I hope that the cache owner would remove the nail when the cache has run its course and gets removed) but in the perception of the harm it is doing. To most of the people out there, nails in trees are bad.

#44 User is offline   Sputnik 57 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 03:00 PM

Quote

I think drilling holes in trees will make our sport very popular with land managers.
Having pondered this for a day and seeing other posts, I have to agree with Briansnat's not-so-subtle remark. The land manager/tree owner's perception of what is done to the tree is probably more important than what the cache placement actually does.

I should know that if I have to ask in the forum if doing something is okay (i) it probably means I know in my gut that it isn't and (ii) I need to trust my gut.

Back to the drawing board for a "tread lightly" approach to hiding this guy.

#45 User is offline   mtn-man 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 03:07 PM

dsandbro, on Nov 19 2004, 04:16 PM, said:

This is wandering off-topic <snip>

Yep, it's a wandering. Keep on track folks.
Geocaching, geocaching...

#46 User is offline   mtn-man 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 03:08 PM

Sputnik 57, on Nov 19 2004, 06:00 PM, said:

Quote

I think drilling holes in trees will make our sport very popular with land managers.
Having pondered this for a day and seeing other posts, I have to agree with Briansnat's not-so-subtle remark. The land manager/tree owner's perception of what is done to the tree is probably more important than what the cache placement actually does.

I tend to agree with this too.

#47 User is offline   Logscaler and Red 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 07:23 PM

Myself, I would not be to worried about the professional land managers perception's.

They will have a pretty good idea what is harming the trees and what is not.

I would worry more about the perception of those not informed in the subject.

As for the tree needing fire to pop the cone, Lodgepole will respond that way.

Now, I was just wondering what species of tree your going to be dealing with for this cache? That just might make all the difference in the world. Entrance wounds of just about any kind on a Sugar Pine will kill them.

And as for the geocaching section, I have done several caches where the cord - line - rope has been thrown over a limb to hoist the cache up and down with. After a few ups and downs, the line gets embedded into the limb and the cache is just left sitting or hanging right at the tree. Pine trees will pitch out real fast and them your relly stuck. But I would see no problem with climbing the tree and hanging a small pully from a cord or chunk of rope. Zip ties would work as well. You dont have to tighten them to the end, just make a loop.

Ask the park manager about any trees slated for removal in the future and see if he will let you play with it. So to speak.

logscaler.

#48 User is offline   Sputnik 57 

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 07:43 PM

The tree I had in mind was a cottonwood in an urban park. The line supporting the cache would be brown thread or monofilament fishing line. I won't drill and dowel. I'll figure something else out.

#49 User is offline   dsandbro 

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 12:17 PM

logscaler, on Nov 19 2004, 07:23 PM, said:

...As for the tree needing fire to pop the cone, Lodgepole will respond that way....

logscaler.

The techno-geek term for cones needing fire to open is 'serotinous'. There's your daily trivia factoid.

The Rocky Mtn variety of Lodgepole Pine is serotinous. The Sierra Nevada variety is not.

Different species of tree have varying levels of disease resistance and dealing with injuries. White Fir for example dies if you look at it crosseyed. Junipers can be run over by bulldozers and still thrive. Since it is not practical for everyone to know the difference in silvics and tree pathology between the species (I don't and I am in the business. I grab the reference books all the time) just don't do the nail thing.

#50 User is offline   eggman7360 

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 01:43 PM

Divine, on Nov 19 2004, 12:12 AM, said:

CompuCash, on Nov 19 2004, 03:56 AM, said:

my grandfather used to kill trees he did not want with a couple copper nails.

Wouldn't a saw have been more effective? :lol: :D

No a tree would grow back ...not be actually killed

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