How Trees Are Made

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yogi
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How Trees Are Made

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

Post by Kellemora »

Ha Ha Ha!

Here is something you probably already knew.
If you drive a nail into a tree, leave a lot sticking out though.
As long as the ground around the tree is not added to or taken away from.
That nail will forever remain at the same height as you nailed it in at.

This is why surveyors can use nails in trees rather than placing a stake in the ground when working their way through wooded areas. Or trees can be used to install insulators for electric fences. Although the tree can grow and short out the fence, but it is OK with barb wire fences.

I see bogus meme's all the time showing a car or a bike way up in a tree, and they claim the owner just leaned the bike against the tree before going off to war or some nonsense like that. The only way it could be way up in a tree is if someone put it up there to start with.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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Obviously trees gain height and girth. From what I understand most of that is accomplished via new growth and not the expansion of the existing tree. I never thought about the nail in a tree trick, but that has to be true only after a certain point in the growth cycle. I planted a maple tree once when it was only about ten inches tall. It had a fork in the branches that was maybe 6-7 inches off the ground. By the time the tree fully matured that fork was about shoulder high. It grew vertically for some time, but I'd not doubt that it stopped doing that at some point.

Also, I heard putting a nail in a tree trunk is a sure way to kill it.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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Yes, this only works AFTER the tree has formed its Main Fork, then the trunk no longer gains height.
As a young sapling, those smaller branches are not really the Main Fork, even if they look like the tree has forked.
Most of the time, a tree's Main Fork is developed between 1 and 3 years old.

Putting a nail into a tree won't harm an adult tree.
However, you are creating a minor wound which should heal up fast.
Naturally a stainless nail would be a better choice than an iron nail which will rust.
Even so, it shouldn't hurt the tree at all.

You should never wrap a wire or place a band around a tree, because as the tree grows it will girt the tree and strangle it.

I had this happen when I braided a tree for decorative purposes. I eventually planted the tree outside by the mailbox and as it grew, the braiding eventually became non-visible, but at the same time, it strangled first one trunk and then another until the tree died.
Another time I planted eight small saplings around a slightly larger tree, knowing the saplings would grow to hit each other fairly fast, but shouldn't girt themselves doing it that way.
Well, they didn't, they all grew, but the center slightly larger tree is the one that got girted and died.
I had to have a tree service remove the dead branches down as far as they could, but the circle of trees was still there when I sold the house and moved, only now it just looks like one huge trunked tree.
I think folks who know trees would be a little surprised to see that type of tree with such a large trunk, hi hi.
I think they were paper birch trees, but don't remember for sure anymore.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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My back forest had several trees which I could not identify. All I can say about this one variety is that it was soft wood and the bark was kind of scaly. When I cut them down the chain saw hardly had to do any work. Two of these said trees were just the right distance for stringing up a hammock. I screwed one large eye bolt into each tree and enjoyed the hammock for two or three summers. Then both trees died. The bolts were slightly rusty when removed so that might have indicated something. When I told this story to friends, that's when I heard about the nail in a tree killing it. I wish I could tell you what kind of trees I'm talking about, but I have no idea.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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It sounds like they may have been either a tan birch or lombardy poplar. Both of those only have a lifespan of about 15 years.
I had a cedar tree in my back yard that split one winter.
I drilled through that sucker with a 3/4 inch drill bit and slid a 1/2 inch thread rod through it with large fender washers and bolted it back up as tight as I could get it. then moved up another two feet and did the same thing, then up another two feet. I kept restarting at the bottom tightening the bolts until I had the split back together again.
I also added a couple of LONG 1/4 inch rods to help lift a few of the sagging branches.
I did this around 1984 I think. I moved out in 2003, and the tree was still in perfect health.
Only now you could no longer see the fender washers as the bark eventually grew around them and hid them.
You can still see the 1/4 inch rods where I put them, but not the washers on the ends of those either.

Sorry your trees died on you!

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I loved that overgrown forest. It had quite a diverse population of trees and plants that simply amazed me. One tree, which I was told is a Catalpa(?) tree had white flowers for a brief period each year. They opened up for only 24 hours then died off. I took pictures one year just to prove that tree had flowers. LOL

You could be right about the birch or popular identity. Aside from the two that died from hammock wounds there were a few others that died of their own. They had to be 15-20 years old at least. After I heard about the nail in a tree myth, I tried to kill one of the mulberry trees. It was huge with a trunk approaching 30 inches in diameter. Well, mulberry tries don't die from nails but several years later I decided to use my 16" chain saw to fell it. It was a gigantic challenge but the tree was in the middle of the lot and it didn't much matter were it came down. All I had to do was get out of the way. And, unfortunately, my chain saw found those nails I put in years before I cut the tree. As I recall there was no sharpening that chain. I had to buy a new one.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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Cutting trees around the perimeter of the farm, I hit all kinds of things embedded inside the trees.
Everything from insulators and nails to a horseshoe and even the metal tongue of a horse trailer.
Destroyed the chain each time too! Learned the hard way to cut way away from forks, hi hi.
When I had a fireplace, you wouldn't believe the number of iron items I swept out with the ashes.
Even got a couple of small embossed tin signs in those ashes. One was a fire department fee paid, but the bottom with the year was not in the ashes. The other was an oil can advertisement, but so rusted full of holes, many looked like they may have been gunshot holes, hi hi. Oh, also got a small coil of barbed wire, but I could see it before I burned the log.

When I felled the trees on the lower part of my back lot, I used a reciprocal saw with a coarse tree cutting blade. I did go through several because I was cutting slightly below ground level for the last cuts. But did that last after the blades were fairly well worn out already. Almost all the trees went into my mulch pile, but I did keep a few trunks for woodworking purposes, but ended up giving them to Debi's bro-in-law to use.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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It always amazed me how quickly a chain saw would dull when it cuts into the soil. Most of the soil in my forest was black dirt. I don't think I ever dug up a rock back there. That happened because we were a couple feet down hill from the subdivision north of us. All the rainwater runoff would pass though my forest and empty into the stream that separated my house from the wilderness. Some years it was very swampy back there, but there were spots where the black soil was more than two feet deep. I think of that all the time when I try to put a shovel into the clay here in O'Fallon. So I don't get why the dirt could be so destructive.

I burned a lot of the tree limbs from the forest but never found the metal that you have seen. Over the years of my roaming around back there I did find about a dozen golf balls. A couple seemed to be fairly new with no nicks. None of my adjacent neighbors were golfers so that I have no idea where the balls came from. Then, too, they might have been there for generations.
Last edited by yogi on 14 Dec 2019, 21:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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It was the trees from around the perimeter of the fenced pastures where all the metal junk came from.
I never get any junk out of trees in the forest or heavily wooded areas.
I did however get an old iron wagon wheel from a tree trunk, but most of it was still exposed.
This was about 20 feet into a wooded area, and very near the remains of a stone foundation.
Nobody has lived there for probably over a hundred years or longer.

There is sand in all soil, even though you don't see it, and it sands off the edge of the blades real fast.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I never thought about there being sand in the dirt, but I guess ultimately that's what dirt is. I had another type of tree in the woods that grew like weeds. It was some kind of cherry tree and had cherry-like fruits that were smaller than the size of a pea. Each one that dropped to the ground germinated, or so it seemed. Nothing but it's own saplings would grow near these trees and they had very sharp spikes on their limbs. They were kind of like tooth picks but a lot harder. The wood of the tree was very hard and redish in color. I could wear out two chains cutting up one of these trees. Had to be very careful not to stab myself too. The wood being hard made it great for burning in the wood stove. It was better than oak in that regard but required a lot of kindling to get it started.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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Sounds like a Honey Locust Tree! They once populated our unused areas of the farm, mostly down by the lower end of the creek. Uncle John used to spray used oil on them and set them ablaze, never seemed to hurt them much, hi hi.
I think he got those thorns in a tractor tire a couple of times, which is a big deal since all of our tractor tires are filled with calcium chloride to add weight that won't freeze.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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Honey Locust isn't what I had on my property, but one of my neighbors did have a few. They are actually worse than the ones I'm talking about. The locust trees I found in an image search have leaves that turn colors. The trees on my property kept their leaves green until they fell off. The thorns were not as vicious as those on the locust either. I don't know if the trees I am talking about would damage a tractor tire, but they certainly would do damage to a bicycle tire and maybe a well worn automobile tire. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I don't know the names of many trees, but remembered that troublesome one because it was on our farm.
We had other locust trees that were gorgeous and no thorns that I recall.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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The land my house was built on was a farm and tree nursery many many moons before I took possession of it. There were a couple trees that might have dated back to the original, but the oldest tree I could identify had nearly fifty rings. The rest were all younger. The surrounding area was all prairie and a lot of unidentified plants grew in my forest too. I learned to identify the poison ivy one year when I shredded a whole patch of it. I itched for several weeks after that and had to burn the clothes I wore. It was an amazing biological garden which it still miss today.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I had a nice garden, even when I lived in the apartment complex.
Conned the owner into giving me exclusivity to a side yard, which he did.
Had a much larger garden when I lived in the big house.
Had two smaller gardens when I lived in Creve Coeur, one in the front for flowers, one in the back for veggies.
After I moved down here I built the small greenhouse, started plants in the crawl space I dug out for the purpose, and also had a really large garden in the back yard.
After my first heart attack, well, that ended all of my gardening activities.
I still tried, at least for a while, then a second heart attack has left me perched behind my desk.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I was out shoveling 5" of snow yesterday. There is another two inches on the ground which fell after that. My health isn't perfect but I thank my lucky stars that I can get out and do some sweat causing work. I hurt all over afterwards, but the hurt feels so good. There aren't too many gardens around here and if it wasn't all clay I have a perfect hillside to grow just about anything. I had a rototiller up north to dig up the black dirt, but I think it would be useless trying to grind up the clay. Even if I did that, I doubt much would grow.

We had a problem with our front lawn for a couple years. I thought we had a sink hole but it doesn't seem to be that. The builder probably just buried some things he didn't want to pay to haul away. When the ground stopped settling we had a landscaper come out and fill it and they put grass seed over it. Most of the area is now covered with grass, but there are large patches of bare soil where the weeds like to congregate. I tried overseeding, but that didn't do much. My plan is to try and grow some sod. I don't need much; probably two or three square feet would fill in the holes. I'm not sure exactly how to do it but I envision using a tray or two on top of my potting bench which gets the southern sun for a good part of the day. Even if I am successful with the sod, I have no idea if it will take when I plug it into the front lawn. Those bare spots are there for a reason. But, at least I can test out my gardening skills again. LOL I know I can buy a roll of sod for less than it would cost to grow my own. But that's no fun. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I usually use a garden hose to get rid of snow, then salt it down to melt the ice left behind, hi hi.

I had a sink hole also, but it was a collapsed storm sewer, they fixed it a couple of times before doing it right.

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yogi
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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I can't imagine Knoxville getting much snow, but hosing it down with water is an eyebrow raiser. LOL That would be pretty hard to do around here with the temps well below freezing, and it certainly would seem impossible up north. it might be possible to clear your driveway after a water washing, but the streets would turn into an ice pond. You probably have ditches to drain the storm water so maybe it could work over there. The best solution I've seen was heating coils in the driveway pavement. Of course that doesn't help much in a blizzard, but it does work most other times, if you can afford it.

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Kellemora
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Re: How Trees Are Made

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That's how I handled my driveway and sidewalks back home in St. Louis.
Down here the snow melts really fast on the roads even when it is cold out.
My blacktop driveway clears up really fast too!

I'm not big on shoveling snow, never have been.
It usually don't bother me anyhow, because all my life each of my vehicles were made ready for snow before it snowed.
I did get some strange looks sometimes because I also put snow tires on the front of my vehicles back in the '70s and '80s.
Always had chains ready for the back tires, and always had posi-traction rear ends. Never got stuck anywhere, and I loved to go out driving around in the snow when everyone else was stuck at home, hi hi.
Ahhh, the good ole days!

You know, I actually tried putting heating coils in my driveway in Creve Coeur when I redid it.
They work, but not well enough. In a deep snow, sure the driveway is clean under it, but you still have to drive through the snow to get it to fall back down onto the driveway where what was under the snow melted forming like an igloo, hi hi.
Under normal light snows or ice, it did a great job. Unfortunately it didn't last before something went wrong in the coils. So I sold the little oil filled heating box for it to someone else.

I only had a short 8 foot sidewalk from the house to the driveway below the porch. I just bought two electric heat tapes for pipes, each was close to 20 feet long, and zigzagged them down the driveway, well more serpentined them I guess about 3 inches apart from each other. Then I put a 1/2 inch thick layer of PM30 concrete repair mix over it all. Worked great for about 5 years, then the little lead-in wires to the garage outlet cracked from the sunlight hitting them under the porch step. I just cut the wires off at the sidewalk so no-one knew what was inside the top layer of the sidewalk.
PM30 was the best stuff every, used it for years for all kinds of concrete repair jobs. It held up, and now I don't think anyone makes it anymore. Similar items don't work the same or hold up as well.

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