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68 votes
Accepted

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

There are a number of different ways to do this. Method using GPS, compass and Google Earth. Get the GPS coordinates of where you can see the tree from. Take a bearing with a compass to the tree ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
32 votes

Can removing dead wood harm the ecosystem?

I'll answer this from a perspective of what we follow in some of the areca nut and coconut farms that I've grown up in. The areca nut and coconut trees shed their branches often. These are similar to ...
Ricketyship's user avatar
  • 7,815
21 votes
Accepted

Why do upside down tree leaves mean rain

This is the old saying, "When leaves show their undersides, be very sure rain betides." From the farmersalmanac.com: The leaves of deciduous trees, like maples and poplars, do often to turn ...
wanderweeer's user avatar
  • 2,790
16 votes
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What kind of tree produces these seed pods looking like spiky balls?

That is a sweet gum tree. The distinctive compound fruit is hard, dry, and globose,1–1.5 inches (25–38 mm) in diameter, composed of numerous (40-60) capsules.[13] Each capsule, containing one to two ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

What is this tree with a spiral shaped trunk in Massachusetts?

I suspect that tree grew with something else twined around it. That something else has meanwhile died or been removed. Bittersweet is a likely candidate for what might have wound around the tree ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
14 votes

How long after a storm is it safe to go into the forest?

Personally I'd pass through the forest once the wind has died down significantly. I'd go a little more cautiously on a bike, because I wouldn't want to ride round a bend into a fallen tree. That's ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.6k
13 votes
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Which types of animals would peel bark off this tree?

That was definitely a beaver. Nothing else has quite the chewing power of a beaver, for example accoring to Wikipedia, these trees were cut by beavers in a single night. Based on the color of those ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes
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How exactly do you cut down a tree with fire?

Unless you are building a bridge you don't. If you don't have the tools to cut it down you don't have the tools to do anything with it once it is down. You are converting it from a big living ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
13 votes

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

Take two compass bearings from two known GPS coordinates but different azimuths. Then just use the formula to calculate their intersection. Aviation Formulary -- Great Circle Navigation Formulae -- ...
Earl Higgins's user avatar
13 votes

Can removing dead wood harm the ecosystem?

The answer seems to be that it depends, Birds, small mammals, and other wildlife use snags for nests, nurseries, storage areas, foraging, roosting, and perching. Live trees with snag-like features, ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes
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How do tree trunks get chevron patterns in the bark?

Very cool picture! That pattern must be quite old, I guess. I'm quite sure this tree is some kind of pine, judging by the bark, so this seems to be a remainder of resin harvesting, which was a common ...
phipsgabler's user avatar
  • 1,569
13 votes

Tree with red |A| painted on trunk

Out of curiosity I spent some time Googling this, and it appears that Ontario has strict requirements for being a tree marker and the Canadian Institute of Forestry offers courses for you to become a ...
John Rennie's user avatar
12 votes
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Is it practical to tap a tree for syrup on an overnight stop?

Using some numbers from Cornell's Extension program: 10 gallons of sap per tap in a season is reasonable. The length of a season varies- Let's say it's 90 days. The sugar concentration, which ...
jejorda2's user avatar
  • 366
11 votes
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How does a tree with such an extreme curvature form?

That tree got bent over but not snapped when it was just tall enough so that its tip was where the end of the bend is now. One of the small branches near that tip happened to point upwards after the ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
11 votes

Escaping tree well

Really the key to escaping tree wells is to ski/board/snowshoe with a buddy. I have friends who have ended up head down in a tree well, completely unable to reach their bindings. With every movement ...
Charles E. Grant's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What kind of animal may have done this?

Almost certainly, this is the work of a woodpecker foraging for grubs in a dead and rotting tree: they tend to move methodically up the trunk excavating at intervals, producing the Swiss cheese effect ...
Pont's user avatar
  • 3,752
10 votes

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

First thing I would try is to see if I could pick the tree out on Google Earth. https://earth.google.com/web/ In many locations, especially near mid-sized or larger towns and cities, even the tree ...
Rick Presley's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

I am torn between axe or hatchet, what would you recommend?

Personally, I usually take neither. Instead, I bring a sturdy knife and a saw. The knife wouldn't be replaced by hatchet or axe: it is anyways needed for cooking and it is at least as good as a ...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How do you tap a tree for sap?

Sugar Maple trees are by far the most popular trees that people tap for sap. So I will use this as my example of how to tap a tree. The following is taken from: Common Sense Homesteading. Identify ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 9,609
9 votes

Tree with red |A| painted on trunk

Marks painted on trees are often (always?) indications whether to cut the tree down or not when they work in that part of the woods next. The meaning of a particular mark is often not standard and can ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,522
8 votes

How do you tap a tree for sap?

There are a few ways to tap a tree, before you tap you need to know when the sap is rising from the roots to the branches. I have read about use a knife to make a shallow cut under the bark, then ...
Chris J's user avatar
  • 1,778
8 votes

How to assess the likelihood of a tree falling in a forest?

A few suggestions for reducing the likelihood of an incident: Sleep in clearings. Avoid the forest during heavy winds. Avoid sleeping under large branches: even when the tree looks healthy. I have ...
DudeOnRock's user avatar
  • 7,491
8 votes
Accepted

What is this tree with shiny leaves and a fuzzy seed pod?

That's a magnolia tree. I first saw one in Delaware in the dead of winter encased in ice after an ice storm. All the other trees had dropped their leaves, but the magnolia doesn't shed its thick ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
8 votes

Can removing dead wood harm the ecosystem?

You're building up a huge fire hazard. Normally fires would've cleaned that out, but fire suppression for 40 years has left you with a lot of fuel. Which may make for a really bad fire. Destroying ...
user3082's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes
Accepted

What is growing in these cocoon-looking structures found on a mountain in Massachusetts, USA?

We went back today and spoke with the naturalist, Cindy, who's part of a team that cares for that property which includes hundreds of acres. These are webbed nests filled with hundreds of ...
Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What is this plastic net with a wide middle and bottom that looks like an upside-down flower hanging from a tree?

I'm pretty sure it's some kind of a suet cake/fat ball, i.e. bird's food, see the first image on the Wikipedia article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suet_cake (Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be)
Jasper's user avatar
  • 1,117
8 votes

What are these painted markings on trees for? (not trail markers)

These markings are for logging operations. The marks indicate that the trees should be removed. Note that there are also marks at the base, this is to help verify that the proper trees are removed. ...
Schleis's user avatar
  • 668
7 votes
Accepted

What kind of tree produces these long multi-seed pods?

After waiting months for the leaves to return on the tree and reading the comment made by Jamesqf, this is a Honey Locust Tree. On the Wikipedia page for the tree, there is a picture that matches ...
Timmy Jim's user avatar
  • 1,369

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