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Placing Screws in Trees

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From: Marty Krogh
City:
Ingleside, IL
Is it safe to mount a bird house to a mature tree with small screws? If yes, what type of screws and how long?

Thanks

 
Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
jhayek@illinois.edu
Hi Marty:

Hmm, please let me be as blunt as possible regarding your question: Do not drill, tap, or hammer anything metal into trees. This means no nails, screws, staples, etc.

Your best bet is to affix your bird house, or bat house, to a wooden or metal pole, post, or sign. Try using bungee cords or ratchet straps if the aforementioned isn't a viable option.

 
From: David Powell
City:
Villa Park, IL
Jay,

This got me thinking and I have a couple followups: Should I try to remove a screw or nail that is already in a tree or does this make the problem worse?

How are trees tapped for sap?

Thank you.

 
Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
jhayek@illinois.edu
Hi David:

It is not "necessary" to remove an old nail or screw from a tree as it could, like you mention, make the problem worse (depending on the size of the screw or nail).

Trees are tapped for their syrup (i.e., boiled down sap) using a removable spile.

Best, Jay

 
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