Can Hammocks Damage Your Trees?

Few things are more relaxing than spending time in your yard and enjoying nature save for doing it while lounging in a hammock. Hammocks can be great additions to any outdoor living space and can easily fit in yards with sturdy trees. But many homeowners end up wondering if setting up a hammock will put their trees at risk of significant damage. While your plant health care team may be able to help you keep your trees in good shape, it’s best if you understand the risks before you set up your first hammock. 

Mounting Mechanisms Can Make the Tree More Vulnerable
Not all hammock mounting systems are created equally. Some expect you to drill a mounting system into the trunks of the trees you’re using as supports while others use wide straps to hold the hammock in place. Needless to say, strap-based systems—like those common with camping hammocks—are great since they don’t penetrate the trunk of the tree. If you drill holes into the trunk, you’re effectively making your trees more vulnerable to damage, disease, and insect infestations. Choosing the right mounting mechanism and system is key. 

Straps Can Strip the Bark
Strap-based mounting systems work best when the straps themselves are wide and spread the weight and pressure across a broader area. If the straps are too narrow or too tight against the tree, they can strip the bark and expose the tree to diseases and insects. Before setting up your hammock, inspect the straps. They should be at least 1.5 inches wide and should mount flush against the tree. If they’re narrower than that or won’t lay flat against the bark, you’ll want to invest in a hammock stand or try a different mounting system.

Human Activity Can Compress the Soil
Believe it or not, human activity, like walking in the same spot repeatedly or leaving a heavy hammock stand in one place for an extended time, can compress the soil around your tree’s roots. And if you’re not careful, using your hammock can put strain on those root systems. This can cause your tree to stop growing and could result in premature death of your trees. 

Should You Hang a Hammock From Your Trees? 
Ultimately, making the decision to use a hammock in your yard is a matter of personal preference. If you have established trees that are in good health, setting up a hammock can be a great way to make your outdoor living area more enjoyable. But if your trees are new or are unhealthy, you may want to invest in a hammock stand that you can set up away from your trees’ roots. 

Let Your Tree Trimming Team Help
If you notice damage after hanging a hammock in your trees, don’t ignore it. Contact Root Tree Service to schedule an assessment. Our experienced plant health care specialists will thoroughly inspect your trees and identify any damage or risk factors they may face. This can help you keep your trees healthy year-round so you can enjoy using your hammock whenever the weather is nice.
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