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Best Nails for Trees?

Islander

Islander

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
141
Location
Northern Vermont
I know the right answer is NONE...

But I need to hang a bunch of Safety Zone signs around my land. The trees are nothing special, but I don't want to harm them more than necessary.

What's the best flavor of nails to use? I've heard some metals can be quite toxic...copper in particular. What's the best type to use? Steel, Galvanized, Aluminum, Stainless (not sure I can get them long enough), decking screws? Does it matter?

In any case, I'll make sure to leave them sticking out enough to remove if I cut any for firewood.

I bought some heavy laminating pouches for the signs...I'm hoping to get 10 years out of this set...my wife thinks its more of a science project!
 
treeclimber101

treeclimber101

UNCLE BUCK
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
9,649
Location
somewhere else
I know the right answer is NONE...

But I need to hang a bunch of Safety Zone signs around my land. The trees are nothing special, but I don't want to harm them more than necessary.

What's the best flavor of nails to use? I've heard some metals can be quite toxic...copper in particular. What's the best type to use? Steel, Galvanized, Aluminum, Stainless (not sure I can get them long enough), decking screws? Does it matter?

In any case, I'll make sure to leave them sticking out enough to remove if I cut any for firewood.

I bought some heavy laminating pouches for the signs...I'm hoping to get 10 years out of this set...my wife thinks its more of a science project!

zip tyes
 
dingeryote

dingeryote

Blueberry Baron
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
13,604
Location
Michigan
How premanent are you looking for?

Bailing twine(Jute) will rot away after a bit.

Anything ya nail or scew into the tree, will soon be consumed as the tree grows around it.

I gave up on wooden signs. They get blown off in storms, knocked down by idiots and in general are a PITA and expensive to maintain.

The Hardware sells pads of 5X8 "No tresspassing without permission" signs made out of heavy plastic coated paper for like 5 bucks, and I simply staple 'em on. They hold up for a couple years.

Stay safe!
Dingeryote
 
flushcut

flushcut

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Joined
Dec 20, 2009
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2,049
Location
Delavan, wi
How about cotton string or a nail that does not go through the bark. I think tying the signs on in some kind of fashion is best and prompt removal when done.:cheers:
Or just use a post no tree damage.
 
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Islander

Islander

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
141
Location
Northern Vermont
Lamination, No Plywood

I'm looking for 10 year signs...nail 'em and forget 'em. :cheers:

The last batch I hung were stapled to plywood and covered with plastic sheeting. Those lasted about 3-5 years.

For this round of signs, I've started with the required State of Vermont issued Safety Zone signs on paper card stock (I don't want to formally post the land, just prohibit shooting near our house).

I have some 10mil thermal laminating pouches (requires a laminator which I have) that will seal them in. I'm also punching 1" dia holes in 4 places before laminating so the hole will create a sealed lamination spot to drive the nails through, so the paper stays completely sealed.

Then I plan to skip the plywood, and just nail the sign wrapped around the tree. I hope this reduces wind damage. Sun damage may still be a factor as I could not find UV protected pouches in the 11x17 size I need. But the lamination is pretty thick, so I hope it lasts...

I thought about baling wire or rope, but I would think this would choke the tree over 10 years.

When I go hiking, I often see trail markers which are nailed with the nail sticking way out to allow for growth. That's what I'm thinking, and I'll locate the nail spots in the signs close together so vertical growth doesn't rip them.
 
treeclimber101

treeclimber101

UNCLE BUCK
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Messages
9,649
Location
somewhere else
I'm looking for 10 year signs...nail 'em and forget 'em. :cheers:

The last batch I hung were stapled to plywood and covered with plastic sheeting. Those lasted about 3-5 years.

For this round of signs, I've started with the required State of Vermont issued Safety Zone signs on paper card stock (I don't want to formally post the land, just prohibit shooting near our house).

I have some 10mil thermal laminating pouches (requires a laminator which I have) that will seal them in. I'm also punching 1" dia holes in 4 places before laminating so the hole will create a sealed lamination spot to drive the nails through, so the paper stays completely sealed.

Then I plan to skip the plywood, and just nail the sign wrapped around the tree. I hope this reduces wind damage. Sun damage may still be a factor as I could not find UV protected pouches in the 11x17 size I need. But the lamination is pretty thick, so I hope it lasts...

I thought about baling wire or rope, but I would think this would choke the tree over 10 years.

When I go hiking, I often see trail markers which are nailed with the nail sticking way out to allow for growth. That's what I'm thinking, and I'll locate the nail spots in the signs close together so vertical growth doesn't rip them.
Nothings more beautiful than a woods line strewn with black and orange NO TRESPASSING signs in October , they just add so much to the landscape
 
treeclimber101

treeclimber101

UNCLE BUCK
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
9,649
Location
somewhere else
I'm looking for 10 year signs...nail 'em and forget 'em. :cheers:

The last batch I hung were stapled to plywood and covered with plastic sheeting. Those lasted about 3-5 years.

For this round of signs, I've started with the required State of Vermont issued Safety Zone signs on paper card stock (I don't want to formally post the land, just prohibit shooting near our house).

I have some 10mil thermal laminating pouches (requires a laminator which I have) that will seal them in. I'm also punching 1" dia holes in 4 places before laminating so the hole will create a sealed lamination spot to drive the nails through, so the paper stays completely sealed.

Then I plan to skip the plywood, and just nail the sign wrapped around the tree. I hope this reduces wind damage. Sun damage may still be a factor as I could not find UV protected pouches in the 11x17 size I need. But the lamination is pretty thick, so I hope it lasts...

I thought about baling wire or rope, but I would think this would choke the tree over 10 years.

When I go hiking, I often see trail markers which are nailed with the nail sticking way out to allow for growth. That's what I'm thinking, and I'll locate the nail spots in the signs close together so vertical growth doesn't rip them.
Be courteous to the timber fallers and carve some X's in the tree where you drove the nails , that will save a lot of chains
 
dingeryote

dingeryote

Blueberry Baron
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
13,604
Location
Michigan
Nothings more beautiful than a woods line strewn with black and orange NO TRESPASSING signs in October , they just add so much to the landscape

If it wasn't for the #### for brains Citiots and slob hunters taking libertys and trashing woodlots, there would be no need.

If some dork Citiot trips and pokes an eye out, while wandering around unposted property, it's almost a guarantee they(Or thier insurance company) will seek a settlement.

Crap. I have dated pics of the signs I hung up, at the request of my insurance company.

It is funny that all the dipsticks seem to come out in the fall, and only a few are hunting. The rest are Citiots that decided to go explore.
I hardly ever kick more than a couple off in the summer and usually they are poaching fruit. LOL!!

Don't get me started on outta state Sledders.

The signs suck. Citiots suck more.

Stay safe!
Dingeryote
 
Islander

Islander

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Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
141
Location
Northern Vermont
Yeah...I hate to do it, but we have little kids running around, and we hear gunshots that are way too close to our house. Also we're back off the road a ways, so its not immediately clear that there's a house back there.

I'm using the softer Safety Zone signage instead of the usual POSTED signs. I welcome anyone who would like to walk around and enjoy the woods, but just can't allow hunting that close to our dwelling...
 
treeclimber101

treeclimber101

UNCLE BUCK
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Messages
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Location
somewhere else
If it wasn't for the #### for brains Citiots and slob hunters taking libertys and trashing woodlots, there would be no need.

If some dork Citiot trips and pokes an eye out, while wandering around unposted property, it's almost a guarantee they(Or thier insurance company) will seek a settlement.

Crap. I have dated pics of the signs I hung up, at the request of my insurance company.

It is funny that all the dipsticks seem to come out in the fall, and only a few are hunting. The rest are Citiots that decided to go explore.
I hardly ever kick more than a couple off in the summer and usually they are poaching fruit. LOL!!

Don't get me started on outta state Sledders.

The signs suck. Citiots suck more.

Stay safe!
Dingeryote
Alright simmer down alittle , I am just saying that signs signs, every where theres signs, ####ing up the scenery breaking my mind , oh baby can't ya read the signs ...
 
7Distel

7Distel

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
76
Location
USA
Nail not

... just use a post no tree damage.

:agree2::agree2::agree2:

With all due respect, nailing trees is retarded. Treated posts are poisonous and require digging nasty big holes. If you absolutely must put up signs, the most responsible method with the least environmental impact (except visual) is to use 8ft steel 'T-posts' and take extra care not to damage any roots. It's a PITA, but ... you want to do it right or not?
 
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371groundie

371groundie

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Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
681
Location
Pine Tree State
some of the timber companies up here use a method of measureing trees called continuous forest inventory or CFI. they measure the same circle in the woods every x number of years. anyways they have to mark the center of the circle. they use aluminum nails. soft enough a saw of any kind will go right through them but still get the job done. they can be a pita in hardwood, mabey drill a pilot hole?
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

Old enough to know better.
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
16,604
Location
Kansas City
Double headed concrete nails. Easy to pull out, even years later.

The exceptionally hard duplex concrete nails don't break, and you should be able to get the hammer under the head anytime in the next 10 years.

The real hard concrete nails seem to be difficult to find in duplex...

Perhaps this would work: http://homerepair.about.com/od/interiorhomerepair/ss/nails_types_5.htm
 
VA-Sawyer

VA-Sawyer

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Candler, NC
As an experienced sawmill owner, I can tell you that I would prefer the aluminum nails. Pretty much any nail put into oak, walnut, hickory,beech or elm will be unpullable in 5 to 10 years. I have seen stainless steel lags that twisted off because the wood had such a strong grip on the shank after a few years. White pine seems to give up nails the best after time, as long as they are at least galvanised. Maple and yellow popular are somewhere in between.
Don't worry about verticle growth of the lower trunk, as it is almost nonexistant. The real change is in girth.
See if you can get the plastic washer roofing caps with aluminum shanks. I think they would be my first choice for what you are doing. Just make sure the plastic washers are UV protected.
Rick
 
Islander

Islander

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Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
141
Location
Northern Vermont
Thanks everyone for the ideas.

I'm no fan of putting any signs up on my land, but it really is a safety issue. Just yesterday, folks were out scouting hunting locations, and I could hear them (I was out picking up firewood) discussing how my woods would be a good spot. Problem is they were maybe 100 yards from our house, and that is just too close for shooting rifles.

I thought about the double head steel nails...they certainly would provide additional margin for pulling them out later.

But also as was mentioned, I expect these trees to suck them in quite a bit over my 10 year target lifetime. So I like the idea of aluminum nails so I don't get bit when I (or my kids in 20 years) forget which trees had the nails, and try sawing them up. That would seems like a safety issue in itself.

I'll see if I can find a box of longer aluminum roofing nails with the plastic caps. That seems like the easiest way. Or maybe just plain aluminum nails with fender washers...which would prevent issues with the plastic breaking down in the sun.

I've got the laminating process dialed in. Since I am using the extra-heavy 10 mil laminating pouches, my laminator doesn't have the heat capacity to fully seal them. So I put them in the oven after 1 pass through, and they seal up nicely. I think this method would work even without the laminator.

So if anyone is looking to make 10 year signs of their own, get some 10 mil pouches (probably 25 cents a piece for letter size...many online sites) and try baking them at 250-300F for a minute or two. They don't come out very flat, but they are sealed and that's what matters. Also, I think punching a hole (3/4-1"...I used a craft punch) through the sign before laminating and making a sealed spot for nails will work very well to keep any water out.

Based on the comment that girth will grow more than length, I think I'll put my nail holes close together horizontally...thanks for that advice.
 
2chops

2chops

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Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
26
Location
Williamsport, PA
Post it.

I like the term Citiot. Here in North Central PA we call them Flatlanders. They're the white collar types that come up from the Lancaster area and other places in the south of the state. They're the only ones who can afford the evr rising realestate prices for the good land plots.
Sorry for the rant. Back to topic...

I'd go with some kind of metal garden post if you're concerned with tree damage. More money on the outset. but probably more in line with the desired effect you're after. Plus they're easy to remove & relocate.
 
bruce6670

bruce6670

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Apr 20, 2009
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Location
new jersey
Plus they're easy to remove & relocate.

That would also make them easy to remove by slob hunters as well.

I've posted property for 20 years or more and always put the signs high enough that they can't be torn down by someone else. I always use roofing nails and replace the signs every 4 years or as needed. I've put numerous nails into the same tree over the years and never remove the old ones.It's better to leave them in. After posting like this for all these years,I've never seen it hurt the tree. And if it does, there are thousands more to take their place.
 
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