Hammocks are a wonderful way to enjoy the fresh summer air under a canopy of green leaves – but you can’t enjoy that luxurious midday nap until your tree-bound lounge is safely and securely installed! Ropes are easy to hang but wear through bark and are widely-known tree killers, and tree-hugging straps must be removed and readjusted constantly. The only other choice left to consider is the eyebolt, but is it safe for trees?
Homeowners are often hesitant to drive a length of metal straight through the trunk of their tree. These concerns are justified! Any wound, regardless of size or depth, can increase the likelihood that the tree will become infected with pests or disease. But eyebolts aren’t really that much of a danger when installed correctly. The tree will eventually close around and seal off the wound, leaving you with an extremely secure spot to attach your hammock.
Never drill into a tree that does not belong to you, even if it is in a public area. Always use straps or a rope, but remember to remove them when finished. Invest in a sturdy stand if all else fails.
Increasing the Longevity of Your Hammock Tree
You can reduce the chances of tree damage by using the heavy-duty stainless steel eyebolts that arborists and other tree service professionals use. Don’t scrape any bark and don’t attempt to seal the entrance wounds. Your eyebolt should last for many years, but if you ever feel the need to remove it only do so with the advice of a certified tree professional. An open wound is much more dangerous to a tree than an embedded piece of metal.
Trees and metal have been living together very successfully for longer than any of us have been alive – this isn’t going to change any time soon. Eyebolts, when properly installed and maintained, present no more of a threat to tree health than Mother Nature herself.
Note: Don’t confuse an eye screw for an eyebolt. Eyebolts are drilled all the way through the entire tree; eye screws are those short little loop-shaped screws that come with many commercial hammocks. Eye screws are not permanent and will eventually pull out of the tree, causing injuries to anyone in the hammock and leaving a vulnerable point for the tree to be attacked by pests, fungus, and insects. Do not use eye screws.