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68 votes
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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 ...
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33 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 ...
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  • 7,785
26 votes

How to attach signs to trees considering tree growth?

What you're asking to do is impossible to accomplish. The signs will never, "move outward with the tree as it grows". Trees don't grow like that. The reason trees have rings is because they grow ...
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20 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,750
15 votes
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What are these bulges? Are they harming the tree?

It looks like a Burl. They are natural non-harmful (think of them like scar tissue maybe, resulting from injury or infection) deformities in the grain of trees. Both hardwood & softwood trees can ...
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  • 1,658
15 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 ...
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15 votes
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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 ...
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14 votes
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How to attach signs to trees considering tree growth?

Given that trees don't push outward, one option is to use lag bolts, and once a year two go around and turn them out a little bit so they are never engulfed in the growth. The amount of turning you'...
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14 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, ...
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13 votes
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What trees/bushes are best suited for a simple bow?

There are two important factors when bowmaking: Flexibiliy, i.e. how easy the wood is to bend Strength, i.e. how much force you can put into the wood before it breaks. If you are just interested in ...
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  • 7,069
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 ...
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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 -- ...
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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 ...
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  • 1,249
12 votes
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Why are two birds obsessed with a chopped-down tree?

This usually means that they had a nest in the tree. If they are still there after a few days it probably means they also had young. Either still in the nest or young enough that they still returned ...
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  • 3,175
12 votes

Rappelling from tree

Was it safe? Yes, you were not in any danger here (unless your tree was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree). Was it the best thing to do? No, for a couple of reasons, the most important being that it ...
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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 ...
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  • 376
12 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 ...
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11 votes

Can you eat pine needles in an emergency?

Yes & no. The U.S. Navy land survival training in Pensacola, Florida teaches students to chew on pine needles to obtain vitamin C. But you don't actually chew and swallow them.
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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 ...
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  • 21.3k
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 ...
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10 votes

Best rope for a rope swing

I think it was polypropylene, it was that cheap, hard, twisted stuff sold in hardware stores for general utility You may find a larger hardware store sells a wider quality spectrum of plastic-based ...
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10 votes

How to attach signs to trees considering tree growth?

Coming from a heavy ranching area the method used for properly attaching fences to trees is to add a board in between. The board provides enough surface area and strength that instead of the tree ...
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  • 186
10 votes

How to attach signs to trees considering tree growth?

You are probably finished with this project by now, but I'll weigh in with our experience for others searching for this answer down the road. We were wondering the same thing about how to attach ...
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10 votes
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What is a suitable workflow for cutting down trees?

For the purpose of my answer I'm going to assume there aren't any special considerations like a tall tree on a small lot. In general I think this is the best procedure: Cut down one tree. Trim off ...
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  • 9,628
10 votes
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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 ...
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  • 3,692
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 ...
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10 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
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What types of trees are in these intertwined groups in Massachusetts?

You may like the look, but those trees are in the process of being killed by a nasty invasive, Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). It is one of the more common invasives in MA. There have ...
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