Chains Placed around Oak Trees
Date: Summer 2009
Is it possible for a oak tree to die from having a chain
wrapped around it to hang a hammock? The tree grew around the chain
a little and seem to wrap the chain.
It is possible for a chain wrapped around a tree trunk to essentially
strangle ("gridle" is the correct word) the tree. The bark has active
and essential conducting tissue for sugars and nutrients which can be
disrupted as the trunk expands and tries to grow around the chain.
Sometimes the tree is successful maintaining bark continuity across the
chain. I would try to remove as much of the chain as possible without
tearing the bark that has overgrown the chain. Use tin snip or bolt
cutter to cut away as much as possible.
Jim Tokuhisa, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012