Industry News: Bark and Trunk Concerns

Q: Can ENO hammocks kill pine trees if left on for only two hours at a time?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016  

Q: I was recently told that ENOs (hammocks) can kill pine trees. I can understand how this could happen if I left the rope on it and the tree grew over it, but if I only do it once a week for something like two hours and then take the rope off, could it kill the pine? They are eastern white pines. Thank you for your help.

A: I've seen a huge increase in the number of people using ENOs at the parks and other outdoor recreational sites where trees are used for support. Some of the concerns about tree damage are valid and others are not. Young white pines have fairly thin bark that can be very sensitive to even moderate application of pressure especially in the springtime when the bark is loosely attached. Mature white pine bark plates provide better protection against pressure from the nylon straps that are part of the ENO system.

Depending on the amount of force being applied where the strap attaches to the tree, there could possibly be some slight potential for damage to a younger white pine tree bark because of their special sensitivity, but I think it would be unlikely on a mature tree where the bark plates have clearly separated and undergone robust thickening. It's unlikely to kill even a young tree unless the tree was so small that the ENO actually caused the tree fibers to crack. I don't think the frequency of ENO use would be a concern unless the tree were quite small.

 

Responder: Marty Shaw, RCA #470, Franklin, TN