attach 4x4 to tree?

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  #1  
Old 06-27-12, 08:52 AM
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attach 4x4 to tree?

I am wanting to attach a 4x4 vertically to a tree approx 20" in diameter without actually screwiing/bolting/nailing into the tree itself. I was thinking if there was just something like a large (giant-size) worm drive hose clamp I could put around tthe tree trunk with perhaps some short lenghts of 2x4 or whatever for cushioning, I could then maybe attach my 4x4 that way, onto some of the 2x4 or other wood I might attach as an anchor for the 4x4. The vertical 4x4 will not be having to support much weight/load at all. I'm open to any comments/suggestions on how to go about this. thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 06-27-12, 09:31 AM
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I doubt you'll find a clamp that big. Would using chain or cable work? what is the 4x4 going to be used for?
 
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Old 06-27-12, 09:47 AM
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Yeah I wouldn't expect to find a clamp as I described big enough. I think they might laugh or think I was crazy if I asked them at the hardware store if they had any 2 ft hose clamps.
The idea of using wire cable though, with turnbuckles I suppose to tighten the cable up good and strong, sounds feasible. Hadn't thought of that. Might consider giving that a try. The 4x4(s) will be used to as a vertical support to some upright 12' high post. Structure is for an outdoor bird bird pen/enclosure (walls and roof will be lightweight netting supported with wire cable). The posts will be arranged in a hexagon shape, except two of them will be trees instead of the posts. Kinda hard to describe but maybe you get the idea. thanks
 
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Old 06-27-12, 10:02 AM
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Cables and turnbuckles was all I could come up with, I was even trying to get rid of the turnbuckles but could not.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 11:18 AM
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yeah Mitch I was trying to get away from the idea of using turnbuckles too for it, but couldn't.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 12:01 PM
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If you know someone who works in the shipping department of a factory...or maybe a lumber yard...a BandIt tool would work as well. Unfortunately I think most places have gone to the nylon strapping and that wouldn't be my choice. The galvanized metal strapping would probably be more appropriate for outside.

I do have to ask...why not lag bolt to the tree? Done properly it won't really hurt the tree.

From reading a few arborist sites..they suggest leaving a space between the "plate" (your 4x4) and the trunk. If you mount it tight, the cambium (basically the inner bark) will be damaged to the size of the plate. Smaller standoffs do less damage and will allow the tree to grow around them.

Matter of fact...why a 4x4 at all? I duuno exactly what kind of netting you will be using...but you could just run in eyebolts spaced a few feet apart and run a taught cable top to bottom. If the netting will be continuous there won't be any gaps.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 12:04 PM
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I'd probably drill a pair of holes through the 4x4, and use a couple fabric ratchet straps threaded through the holes and tightened on the opposite side.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 12:49 PM
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Reason for the 4x4(s) as described is because a center post will be installed within the hexagon arrangment of the other posts (and two trees). The top of the center post will be higher than the surrounding post tops so there'll be a kind of pyramid shape to the enclosure. It's durable plastic net/mesh. So there'll be lengths of cable installed, with turnbuckles and eyebolts, between the top of the center post and sloping down and attached to each of the surrounding posts and trees. So the 4x4s will be installed basically as a structural support as an insurance to keep the surrounding uprights stable and plumb and prevent the cables from putting tension on and eventually pulling/straining on those surrounding posts inward. And installing opposite pulling cables on the outside will not be an option in the situation. It's already been decided to use the 4x4s as described. I think it might be overkill but the decision has been made to go this route.
Gunguy I won't have access to a Band-it tool. The stand-off as you mention I can understand the reasoning to prevent damage to the inner bark, but I'm still rather unclear on how to accomplish the attachment with or without a standoff, other than maybe how has already been suggested using cable and turnbuckle(s) around the trunk as a kind of strap or band. Guess I could figure out some kind of "spacer" between the "plate" (4x4) but cannot really envision such. thanks
 
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Old 06-27-12, 01:04 PM
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Just a smaller piece of 2x4 might work. That's as opposed to having the entire 4x4 in contact with the bark. The less contact footprint, the less damage.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 01:41 PM
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FBI handcuffs work well. I keep some of them on the truck all the time.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 02:20 PM
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Never thought about cable ties - they come 2', eh?
 
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Old 06-27-12, 03:00 PM
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But how would they stand up to sunlight? Not too well I would think. And those big HVAC ties are pretty pricey.

All depends on how long the enclosure will be around.
 
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