How to Protect a Tree From a Rope Scar

Rope covers, hammock straps and tree-climbing accessories help protect your tree from rope scars. Tying a rope around a tree to get a hammock, animal or boat tether can scrape or cut the tree’s bark. Ropes used on divisions for tree shaping, climbing or hanging swings cause friction and can wear through bark. The hurt may reveal the tree to diseases and pests. A rope tied around a tree trunk, however, may constrict the tree and kill it.

Pad the Rope

Lengths of rubber garden hose can be used to avoid rope in making direct contact with a tree. When positioned between the rope and the tree, rubber hose minimizes pressure on the bark and the risk of friction. The rubber hose pad method provides a quick solution if you need to encourage a weak trunk. Though this technique is often used on ropes stabilizing young trees, it nonetheless includes a risk of harm to tender bark.

Attach Rope to Straps

Using horizontal straps with grommets to encourage a tree creates less risk of harm to the bark compared to the rubber hose technique, based on Colorado State University Extension. Use two to three straps to bet one tree. Thread ropes during the grommets, and attach the ropes to stakes driven in the ground. The straps cover a wide surface along the trunk, spreading their pressure from the tree. Garden centres sell tree-staking straps. This method can be used to encourage a recently planted tree and to help straighten a tilting tree.

Employ Friction Guards

Arborist and recreational tree climbing equipment providers sell specialized gear for protecting trees from ropes. Some friction savers are apartment straps around 6 feet long; they are sometimes attached to climbing rope to reduce tree damage and increase climbing safety. Leather cambium savers follow the exact same principle for a rubber hose: The cambium guards keep rope the bark off. These devices, also referred to as tree transplants, are simple to use. Simply feed rope by means of a friction guard, and set the guard over a branch or across the trunk, depending on the way you want to use the rope. Tree topping, higher pruning and other potentially hazardous tree work is best left to professionals.

Utilize Hammock Straps

Hammock straps made from flat webbing are intended to stop bark abrasion. Various brands of hammock straps can be found, and the straps are adjustable to make a snug fit without harming a tree. Adjusting the straps as the tree grows prevents girdling, which will kill the tree; a tight rope prevents the tree in getting water and nutrients. Check sporting good suppliers for hammock hanging kits; a kit typically includes two straps for slinging a hammock between trees. These straps also work for suspending chairs and swings from trees.

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