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Will A Rope Choker Kill A Tree?

lxskllr

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That spruce I took down yesterday had two ropes it in. The lower rope I was able to recover, and now have a decent beater rope for tying things down. The upper rope was completely grown over aside from part of the knot. My boss asked me if I thought that's what killed the tree. I said "No, but I'm not 100% sure". Spruces and other conifers have been doing poorly around here lately, and I think it died of whatever's killing all the other trees. I assume it's at least suboptimal, but how bad is a choker in practical terms?
 

lxskllr

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I don't know exactly how it works. The two lines of thought I had was choking the cambium will kill the tree, or the tree builds a new cambium layer when it grows over the rope. Maybe if the tree can tough it out long enough, it'll survive the choke?
 

Mellow

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It depends on the species. Some trees can absorb the rope and graft around it. Others, not so much. Typically, younger and faster-growing trees will do better.
 

flushcut

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I have seen spruce swollow ropes before and been fine. Even seatbelt material that was never taken off of the ball after planting, big plantings 90" spade big.
 

lxskllr

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Yea, the tree looked fine. Well, aside from being dead anyway :^D Looked like it died after handling rope situation. I might try milling some of it. If I get to it before the boss moves the stuff(good likelihood), it might be interesting to see what it looks like inside. Unfortunately, I bucked it right under the rope, so some of the figuring will be lost. I always do that. Just start cutting, then think of something interesting I could have done later :^/
 

Marc-Antoine

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Thin bark helps but it isn't the main factor. I saw an ash half dead by a choked 1/2" stainless steel cable. Someone wanted to secure a tennis court "recently" dug out in a wooded area. He set this cable in front of the trees all along the court at maybe 15' hight. One end was still loose on the farest trunk, but the other at the first tree was choked tight. The ash was dead above it, but quite vigourous under it with strong sprouts trying to replace the dead part. Nothing was ready to fall, yet, but the securing made actually a real hasard.
 
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