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Nails and Trees. Quick question..


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Basically, can you do it? if it's already 'dead' surely that's alright? I can't be bothered trying to get in contact with land owner(s). I know I probably should... I think it's just the fear of rejection or being laughed at. Surely 1 little nail won't be frowned upon.

 

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What TriciaG said so well. When you retrieve and archive the cache the hole will still be there.

Plus it looks bad. It makes geocachers look like people willing to damage (even perceived damage matters) or deface for their enjoyment. 

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1 hour ago, Pigeon Party said:

I can't be bothered trying to get in contact with land owner(s). I know I probably should...

 

Yes, you should.  If you can't be bothered to gain permission by contacting the land owner...please don't hide a cache there.

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 No offense, but when I see posts like this, I wonder whether any caches had permission.  I'd be surprised if the local Reviewer didn't already get a copy of this post.  :)

We know of a couple parks that because of people who never bothered to ask, they now don't care to have any caches on their property.  Ruins it for responsible, respectful cachers who'd improve the hobby by interacting with landowners ("we help clean up your park with what we call CITO" is one...) .

 

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1 minute ago, Pigeon Party said:

ok thanks for the replies guys, . Ok, not gonna go nailing. Will have to think of something else, I'm sure there's a way. :)  like what l0ne.r suggested.

As one person said - and the guidelines require - Don't place the cache if you don't have landowner permission. If you can't be bothered, or are afraid to ask permission, you should find another place for a cache.

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2 hours ago, Pigeon Party said:

Basically, can you do it? if it's already 'dead' surely that's alright? I can't be bothered trying to get in contact with land owner(s). I know I probably should... I think it's just the fear of rejection or being laughed at. Surely 1 little nail won't be frowned upon.

 

First of all, always ask for permission when hiding caches on private property. As cerberus1 said, this raises the question: Did you get permission for any of your other caches?

To answer your original question: No, don't put a nail into a tree. That could be considered as defacing property. Not to mention that you don't have permission to hide a cache there!

If you get permission, you can always use a sturdy cord to tie the cache around the tree. L0ne.R provided an excellent example of this.

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1 minute ago, Max and 99 said:

Just curious, since I don't know anything about tree care, but why are tacks in trees the exception? 

The 1/4" pins don't enter the tree enough to be an issue.  Most we've seen barely pass most bark.  We probably do more damage climbing them.  :)

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12 hours ago, Pigeon Party said:

ok thanks for the replies guys, . Ok, not gonna go nailing. Will have to think of something else, I'm sure there's a way. :)  like what l0ne.r suggested.

What about elastic / bungee cord?

Holds the cache in place and expands as the tree grows - no harm, no foul.

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24 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

What about elastic / bungee cord?

Holds the cache in place and expands as the tree grows - no harm, no foul.

 

Maybe it depends on the tree.  I have marine bungee cord for a couple of birdhouse caches.  After one year, one of mine shows signs of pulling into the bark, a fast-growing pine.  The tree is growing around it.  So on my maintenance visits, I reposition the cord slightly.  If this plan doesn't work out, I might try a wide strap.

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6 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

I've seen bicycle inner tubes used for this very effectively.

 

It seems to be a constant struggle to design a way to have zero or low impact when attaching caches.  Yet this one is in a place where the park managers hang all their birdhouses with piano wire. ;)

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1 hour ago, Manville Possum said:

 

There are several of these (30) in a Mountain Park published near me. I believe "attached to a 2x4" may have been the note to the reviewer. So what if it's nailed to a tree? They get published, but I don't see them as a positive influence to geocaching. :( They are placed by permission from the City manager, and geocaching brings a little tourism to the town, and they are easy finds.

Flag Rock cache.jpg

 

Sometimes for an easy to find cache, the place must be carefully chosen.  Because if it's easy to find, it's easy (I guess, "tempting") to break.

There's a local city-sponsored tourism-promoting Geotrail with sturdy caches like that, mounted to posts. All out in the open, locks to open them. Some localmuggles see the securely mounted boxes, and try to see how much force it takes to break the boxes from the posts. It's been discouraging to the CO, since these caches are expensive and take a lot of time to build. The solid boxes should last years. Nevermind that someone dropped by one night and stole a “newspaper vending box” cache. The entire machine.

Imagine the localmuggles encountering that tree-secured birdhouse. It would create serious damage to the tree, at least to the point where a rebuilt cache can't be installed again, leaving part of the tree ripped away. The cache created the situation, but it's only a symptom of the problem. The real problem is the wanton destruction of nature (and no respect for property), no controls or no concern by people who are, frankly, crying for help. It doesn't directly affect the hoodlums, but it causes more razor-wire fences around natural places. And fewer nice caches.

You won't usually have advance knowledge of the calibre of the riff-raff in your town. It can come as quite a surprise.

 

Edited by kunarion
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44 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Maybe it depends on the tree.  I have marine bungee cord for a couple of birdhouse caches.  After one year, one of mine shows signs of pulling into the bark, a fast-growing pine.  The tree is growing around it.  So on my maintenance visits, I reposition the cord slightly.  If this plan doesn't work out, I might try a wide strap.

That's the key thing, maintenance visits maybe once a year to check and adjust.

Some trees grow faster than others and some growth around the cord can happen in a few months. Checking at least once a year is a good thing. 

Otherwise, geocachers can come off looking like uncaring people who think their fun trumps doing damage to trees.

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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

Maybe it depends on the tree. 

Yep. Softwoods not having a thick exterior, grow rapidly.  Ever step on a small pine limb and it bends ?  I won't do small pine "tree climb caches" because the braches can't hold weight (they're softwood...) and break.  I'd bet many have seen similar...

If you ever hit zip line courses, you'd probably see many are using wooden stays/slats around the hardwood tree, and the cable around them.   Most courses here have the cable remaining for years using that simple method, and that's with hundreds of people adding weight to it over seasons.

I used a simple ratchet strap for my large but light rural mailbox on a huge oak, the same strap system used by tree stand hunters.  I or another adjusts it  yearly (as agreed to with the landowner), but really not an issue.    If it ever showed signs of girdling, I'd use the same straps, but with wooden stays behind it.    :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

It seems to be a constant struggle to design a way to have zero or low impact when attaching caches.  Yet this one is in a place where the park managers hang all their birdhouses with piano wire. ;)

The guidelines regarding defacement of trees are not to ensure zero or low impact on trees.  It's an attempt to ensure that there is zero to no negative impact on the perception of the game among land managers about the game.   A park manager, managing say a 6 acre park may determine that having 10 bird houses, hung with piano wire, may be the right number to support the local bird population (that's part of being a park manager).  Then a geocacher comes along and thinks  "one nail isn't going to hurt a tree" and puts up a tree house geocache.  Another geocacher comes along and thinks, "what a cool cache, I'm going to place one just like it" and adds another to the park.  Then another and another geocacher, employing the copy catting that is quite common in the game place a few more.    A couple of months later the park manager goes out and finds that there are now 20 bird houses in the park, half of which were created by geocachers.  What impact do you think that would have on the perception of the game of geocaching from that park manager?

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34 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

The guidelines regarding defacement of trees are not to ensure zero or low impact on trees. 

 

Well, it's my goal anyway.  For example, when I see all the posts on this site about "simply use bungee cord for no issues", and then I discover real-world issues with using bungee cord, I have to invent a new process.  Often there's another fix that also won't work.  Regardless of the perception, when I remove my cache, I don't want to leave a messed-up tree for the next 500 years.

 

34 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

The guidelines regarding defacement of trees are not to ensure zero or low impact on trees.  It's an attempt to ensure that there is zero to no negative impact on the perception of the game among land managers about the game.   A park manager, managing say a 6 acre park may determine that having 10 bird houses, hung with piano wire, may be the right number to support the local bird population (that's part of being a park manager).  Then a geocacher comes along and thinks  "one nail isn't going to hurt a tree" and puts up a tree house geocache.  Another geocacher comes along and thinks, "what a cool cache, I'm going to place one just like it" and adds another to the park.  Then another and another geocacher, employing the copy catting that is quite common in the game place a few more.    A couple of months later the park manager goes out and finds that there are now 20 bird houses in the park, half of which were created by geocachers.  What impact do you think that would have on the perception of the game of geocaching from that park manager?

 

That's more like a matter of permission.  The 20 bird house caches would first be designed to not make a mess.  And they are all previously approved.  If the park manager can't stand the caches he approved, "that's too many bird houses", or for any reason, the CO removes the caches.

 

Edited by kunarion
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44 minutes ago, kissguy&frannyfru said:

Just so everyone knows, A nail or screw does absolutely no harm to a tree, none what so ever. You really think a screw will harm a tree?  Image result for trees eating items

 

There's more than a couple threads on the subject.  I believe most know that, but not really the issue...   :)

 

The guideline does say no harm, but the issue is how screwing things into trees could affect a land manager's understanding of the hobby.

 - We don't bury caches for the same reason.  You wouldn't spray paint coordinates on someone else's home, right?

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9 hours ago, kissguy&frannyfru said:

Just so everyone knows, A nail or screw does absolutely no harm to a tree, none what so ever. You really think a screw will harm a tree?  Image result for trees eating items

 

 

Correct the issues isn't really about the tree, it's about perception.  

 

The best reason I know of not to put nails and screws into trees are safety.

1.  The tree is being cut down/trimmed/split for firewood and the saw hits the nail/screw.  It will likely just cut it in half but maybe not.

2.  The tree falls to the ground and rots and then someone steps on the nail/screw.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 6:44 PM, Pigeon Party said:

Basically, can you do it? if it's already 'dead' surely that's alright? I can't be bothered trying to get in contact with land owner(s). I know I probably should... I think it's just the fear of rejection or being laughed at. Surely 1 little nail won't be frowned upon.

 

 

If it's already dead, it's returning to the earth. That 1 little nail will pull out as the tree rots. That's OK, it's just 1 more little nail. That one will pull out, too, and now it's just 1 more little nail hole, a big "little" hole, so you need to make a new hole. Can't hurt. Hammer in just 1 more little nail. And the story about how many nails are involved. You counted “just 1”, right? Hint: You're count is off.

 

This also happens with live trees. A bunch of nails and holes and stripped bark, because “1 nail doesn't hurt a tree at all”. But when the nails won't hold anymore, the cache is gone, and so are the other caches in that park, when the land manager sees the mess left behind. I guess 1 nail hurt after all.

 

There are remnants of hunting stands in local wildlife areas. The stands were built 60 years ago. The wooden supports rotted an fell, but 1 nail or 100, those remain. They won't come out. You clearly see the damage the nails cause in the bark. Some trees or their branches are long gone after that, but I'm told that the fact that some survived is rock solid proof “it can't hurt anything”. The “1 little nail” for a Geocache is stuck and will never come out, or it rips out, requiring another nail, and in either case, the land manager can point to Geocaching and poor rationalization by Geocachers as creating problems. “It doesn't hurt anything”, my foot.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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8 hours ago, badlands said:

 

Correct the issues isn't really about the tree, it's about perception.  

 

The best reason I know of not to put nails and screws into trees are safety.

1.  The tree is being cut down/trimmed/split for firewood and the saw hits the nail/screw.  It will likely just cut it in half but maybe not.

2.  The tree falls to the ground and rots and then someone steps on the nail/screw.

 

Someone may step on it?? Man you yankees think of everything! #paranoid

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14 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

The issues isn't really about the nail, it's about perception.  

 

+1

 

Perceptive! :P

 

But if there's a nail anywhere in that forest, I have skills.  Skills developed over a long hike.  If you leave the nail at home, I'll find the cache and that will be the end of it.  But if you don't, I will find that nail wherever it is.  I will step on that nail, and it will go right into my foot.  And it will kill me.

 

Good luck.

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On 5/3/2018 at 8:01 PM, cerberus1 said:

 No offense, but when I see posts like this, I wonder whether any caches had permission.  I'd be surprised if the local Reviewer didn't already get a copy of this post.  :)

We know of a couple parks that because of people who never bothered to ask, they now don't care to have any caches on their property.  Ruins it for responsible, respectful cachers who'd improve the hobby by interacting with landowners ("we help clean up your park with what we call CITO" is one...) .

 

HAHAHA.   I contacted the local township to get permission for placing 1-3 in various parks for a scout event I am planning.  The response was "We need to bring this up at a council meeting, no one has ever requested permission that I am aware of".  There are a lot of caches in the area, and all types too.  

 

I cannot believe that no one has ever asked, but more that it has not been asked since this person was in the role.  Most in the area are placed by a few, and after they get a similar response I doubt they followed up with anymore requests.

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7 minutes ago, StumblinMonk said:

HAHAHA.   I contacted the local township to get permission for placing 1-3 in various parks for a scout event I am planning.  The response was "We need to bring this up at a council meeting, no one has ever requested permission that I am aware of".  There are a lot of caches in the area, and all types too.  

 

I cannot believe that no one has ever asked, but more that it has not been asked since this person was in the role.  Most in the area are placed by a few, and after they get a similar response I doubt they followed up with anymore requests.

 

If someone gives explicit permission, there is a liability that goes with it in the event that someone get hurt.

 

If they don't acknowledge the existence of geocaching, then they can say it was not placed with permission so we are not liable.

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This is somewhat off-topic, but I saw that the conversation drifted in the direction of explicit landowner permission excusing certain practices (altering existing property). Reviewers always assume that the cache was placed with permission, yet there's a whole list of rules to hiding caches about altering property (sinking a 4x4 into the ground would be against the rules here, even if the cache were attached to the top of the post). I wonder if that means that obtaining explicit landowner permission would mean getting a pass on some of these rules. I have found DOZENS of caches that break some rule of hiding a cache (nails in live trees, altering of existing property, some element of the cache buried), many of which have been found by local lackeys. You'd think that if someone can nail a length of pipe to the side of an existing post, publish it, and have it receive finds from 3 or more lackeys, someone would be concerned with the rules. 

 

Anyway, I digress. The on-topic question, regardless of whether or not you personally condone nails in live trees: Would explicit landowner permission submitted with the listing and specifically mentioning the nails (or whatever rule-breaking element) allow the cache to be published? If I wanted to nail something to a tree on my own property (not that I would), could that listing be published? If I got permission from some park to sink a 4x4 into the ground (violating the buried caches rule), could that be published?

 

I guess the deeper thinking on this one would tell me that even with explicit landowner permission, these things would violate the rules and therefore not be published. Reviewers seem to assume that all caches are placed with permission unless in one of the areas that specifically bans caching. If owner permission is all that is needed to circumvent a rule, why would those rules be in place given that almost all caches require owner permission anyway? 

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57 minutes ago, TheLimeCat said:

This is somewhat off-topic, but I saw that the conversation drifted in the direction of explicit landowner permission excusing certain practices (altering existing property). Reviewers always assume that the cache was placed with permission, yet there's a whole list of rules to hiding caches about altering property (sinking a 4x4 into the ground would be against the rules here, even if the cache were attached to the top of the post). I wonder if that means that obtaining explicit landowner permission would mean getting a pass on some of these rules. I have found DOZENS of caches that break some rule of hiding a cache (nails in live trees, altering of existing property, some element of the cache buried), many of which have been found by local lackeys. You'd think that if someone can nail a length of pipe to the side of an existing post, publish it, and have it receive finds from 3 or more lackeys, someone would be concerned with the rules. 

 

Anyway, I digress. The on-topic question, regardless of whether or not you personally condone nails in live trees: Would explicit landowner permission submitted with the listing and specifically mentioning the nails (or whatever rule-breaking element) allow the cache to be published? If I wanted to nail something to a tree on my own property (not that I would), could that listing be published? If I got permission from some park to sink a 4x4 into the ground (violating the buried caches rule), could that be published?

 

I guess the deeper thinking on this one would tell me that even with explicit landowner permission, these things would violate the rules and therefore not be published. Reviewers seem to assume that all caches are placed with permission unless in one of the areas that specifically bans caching. If owner permission is all that is needed to circumvent a rule, why would those rules be in place given that almost all caches require owner permission anyway? 

 

It was mentioned to me by another cacher recently that there was an adjustment to the 'No Buried Caches' stipulation, IF the cache submission had EXPLICIT permission from the landowner.

I really hope that is not the case.

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5 minutes ago, K13 said:

I really hope that is not the case.

 

It is the case, see here https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines

 

Quote

Do not bury geocaches, either partially or completely. You must not create a hole in the ground to place or find a geocache.

The only exception is if a property owner gives explicit permission to create a hole to place the cache, which you must provide to the reviewer and state on the cache page.

 

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7 minutes ago, K13 said:

 

It was mentioned to me by another cacher recently that there was an adjustment to the 'No Buried Caches' stipulation, IF the cache submission had EXPLICIT permission from the landowner.

I really hope that is not the case.

 

In the Hiding Guidelines under Do not Bury, it reads, " Do not bury geocaches, either partially or completely. You must not create a hole in the ground to place or find a geocache.  The only exception is if a property owner gives explicit permission to create a hole to place the cache, which you must provide to the reviewer and state on the cache page. A cache cannot require the finder to dig to reach the cache.

 

I see Marty beat me to it.  :)

Edited by cerberus1
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1 hour ago, K13 said:

 

It was mentioned to me by another cacher recently that there was an adjustment to the 'No Buried Caches' stipulation, IF the cache submission had EXPLICIT permission from the landowner.

I really hope that is not the case.

 

1 hour ago, MartyBartfast said:

 

It is the case, see here https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines

 

 

 

1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

 

In the Hiding Guidelines under Do not Bury, it reads, " Do not bury geocaches, either partially or completely. You must not create a hole in the ground to place or find a geocache.  The only exception is if a property owner gives explicit permission to create a hole to place the cache, which you must provide to the reviewer and state on the cache page. A cache cannot require the finder to dig to reach the cache.

 

I see Marty beat me to it.  :)

Thanks guys, but what about altering existing property with explicit permission? Nailing something to an existing post or cutting a hole in something to replace with a cache? They list this as "property damage" in the rules, but with permission, I assume it ceases to be damage and therefore ceases to be covered by the rule. Am I correct?

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29 minutes ago, TheLimeCat said:

Thanks guys, but what about altering existing property with explicit permission? Nailing something to an existing post or cutting a hole in something to replace with a cache? They list this as "property damage" in the rules, but with permission, I assume it ceases to be damage and therefore ceases to be covered by the rule. Am I correct?

Yes, that's correct.

 

Remember, they're guidelines, not rules. This is a fine distinction, but it allows leeway on the part of the reviewers. AFAIK, pretty much anything can be done as long as you have explicit permission.

 

That being said, folks should think long and hard about whether to go ahead with any of these grey-area ideas. One of the biggest problems that can arise is monkey-see/monkey-do behaviour. Someone may see your cache that's partially in the ground or drilled into a post, and think it's generally okay for caches to be hidden in that way. They go off and hide a cache in the same way without getting the proper permission, the land manager finds out and bans geocaching from their land to stop damage and defacement, and now everyone suffers.

 

It was nice when the guideline read "Geocaches are never buried", because we could point land managers to that in order to alleviate their concerns. We can't do that now that it effectively reads "Geocaches are never buried, except when they are."

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