Industry News: Bark and Trunk Concerns

Q: A pipe was placed in two trees to hold a swing, but is loose. Can the trees push the pipe out?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015  

Q: In 1999, I put a 2 inch diameter stainless steel pipe between two red oak trees that were about 12 feet apart and about 30 inches in diameter. I did this by boring 2 inch holes in each tree maybe 2 inches deep and 15 feet high then using a come-a-long chain, I pulled one tree over just enough to put the pipe in the holes then let off and the pipe was in place. I then put a swing on the pipe for my kids to play on. Now, I have grandkids playing on it and got concerned that it may fall on them, so I screwed a big screw eye in one tree and attached a cable between it and the pipe. Then, the cable was somewhat loose and now it has become very tight. My question is, could the tree, after all these years, be pushing the pipe out?

A: The techniques and methods you describe do not follow standard methodologies. It is possible, depending on the angle of the branch and the angle of attachment of the pipe and cable, that the distance from the attachment points may be widening. Whether or not this is dangerous cannot be determined without an inspection of the apparatus and the tree parts that the apparatus is connected to. You need to have someone who is an expert in cabling methods to look at the tree and evaluate your work.


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