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screw in steps

 
Leah Sattler
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my husband has some old screw in type steps to use to get to a tree stand. I have concern that these will damage the tree in the long run and I have been reluctant to agree to their use. what do you think?
 
Gwen Lynn
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Well, to some extent, I suppose it would depend on what kind of tree it was, and how deep the screws go.

We had a mimosa tree in our backyard that was splitting down the middle. Dh ran a long threaded rod thru the tree and bolted it to help support the tree & slow the split. The tree grew around that rod. It didn't seem to harm the tree & likely extended it's life for a few years. However the tree developed a cavity that held water & kept dropping leaves & blooms into the pool, so we cut it down to a stump. Of course, being a mimosa, it still sends out side shoots like crazy!
 
Leah Sattler
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it is a relatively large tree. unsure of the species. there are two candidates actually. they both have lost all foliage already and my amateur eyes probably won't be able to identify them without leaves. the steps screw in approx 6 inches I'm thinking it would almost be better to screw them in and leave them rather then take them out later. it seems that would just leave holes for insects and disease to flourish.
 
Gwen Lynn
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I think you're absolutely right & I'd bet the tree would grow around the screws. Also thinking, the bigger the better,  tree-wise. Will be interested to see what other people will say about this.

To clarify...the cavity that formed in our mimosa tree wasn't caused by the rod, and to be honest, if the tree hadn't been so messy for the pool we would have done more to try and save it. We do like mimosa trees & we (along with the butterflies & hummingbirds) have really missed the flowers! 
 
Fred Morgan
steward
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Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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You can use tie on steps if you would prefer. Do some searches. Of course, make sure to take them off or they will gird the tree!

Yes, it allows access to insects and disease but the likelihood is that no damage will be done, but it might effect the wood if you have hope of harvesting some day. Pruning is much more severe and the tree handles that fine, usually.

It it makes you feel better, the tree probably suffers much worse during a wind storm from torn off branches, etc.
 
Leah Sattler
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oh good! that does make sense. he put 3 in (I insisted as few as possible) and we plan to remove them and fill in the holes at the end of the season. although we have a wooded area it is very young and there aren't many very large trees so I want to be careful to preserve what we have. thanks! hubby is sitting in the tree as I type! I have been spying on him with the binoculars
 
Ilex Gardener
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Removing it will do more harm to the tree than leaving them in.

They have already begun the process of healing around the screws. If you remove them you will be exposing the interior of the tree to insects and infections.

Leave them in, they're not going to hurt it anymore than they have.

Besides, take them out, he'll just stick them in another tree.
 
Nancy Sinclaire
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I think in many people's overall permaculture plan a husband may be more valuable than a tree.

Tree stands and steps are available that do not harm the tree or have bolts that can leave either holes deep into the tree or booby traps for someone, who may be young now but inherit the land later, to find with a chain saw.

A set of newfangled tree stand and steps can save a hubbie from a tree fall, save a tree from holes, and save a leg from a chainsaw kickback.
 
Jeremy Moore
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Location: Hamilton, AL
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Leah Sattler wrote:my husband has some old screw in type steps to use to get to a tree stand. I have concern that these will dama
ge the tree in the long run and I have been reluctant to agree to their use. what do you think?



Leah, I myself am a treestand hunter and have used in the past the steps you talk about. All of the trees (with the exception of one) were very mature oaks that I used them on and I never noted any long term damage to them as I hunted from the same trees for years. However, the steps are not the safest things in the world to install and I have since gone to 4 foot sections of ladder "sticks" that attach to the tree with wratchet straps. This is much easier to install, safer to climb, and does no damage to the trees. They're about the same cost as a 12 pack of screw-in steps. Try 'em out
 
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