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Putting tags on trees for Multi Cache locations, what rules do I have to follow in order to place them?


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I have seen some Multi Caches before and some stages had tags with numbers on them that were on trees (the trunk of the tree, not the branches). I'm thinking of making my own Multi Cache soon and might do this myself, what rules do I have to follow in order to place tags on trees?

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Posted (edited)

(1) Get permission from the land manager.

(2) Don't nail things into trees. Attach them some other way that doesn't affect the tree.

(3) Each tag will have to be at least 161 m (528 ft) from any other cache or physical stage of another cache. (They can be closer to other tags/stages for this same cache.)

Edited by TriciaG
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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, TriciaG said:

(1) Get permission from the land manager.

(2) Don't nail things into trees. Attach them some other way that doesn't affect the tree.

(1) What if the land is a public space or I cannot find who owns the land?

 

(2) What are some ways that I can put the tag into the tree without nailing it in?

Edited by geotracters
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https://wiki.Groundspeak.com/display/GEO/Ontario

Link is for the Ontario Regional Policy wiki.   It sprovides contact info for some "public space".  

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines#nature

link is for the section of the guidelines where hardware in trees is covered. 

 

I use metal tags for stages, typically hanging from vegetation, ie, removable, no hardware. 

Existing trail markers, if any, can be used to create stages.

 

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13 minutes ago, geotracters said:

(1) What if the land is a public space or I cannot find who owns the land?

 

(2) What are some ways that I can put the tag into the tree without nailing it in?

1. Around here, if it is public bushland/park, just submit with implied permission.

2. Cable tie, wire

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6 minutes ago, lee737 said:

1. Around here, if it is public bushland/park, just submit with implied permission.

2. Cable tie, wire

I had found one before that looks like it had been nailed into a tree (couldn't upload the picture as the file size was too big), how were they allowed to do it?

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2 minutes ago, geotracters said:

I had found one before

 

They didn't tell the Reviewer that that's what they'd done, probably. The cache owner should alter their stage. Or, perhaps they got permission.

 

Either way, there is no precedent with geocaches; just because they did it, it doesn't mean that you must be allowed to too.

Edited by Hügh
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14 minutes ago, geotracters said:

I had found one before that looks like it had been nailed into a tree (couldn't upload the picture as the file size was too big), how were they allowed to do it?

I doubt they said anything...    Doubtful they asked for permission too.  The property owner can do what they want, we conform to guidelines.

The downside is you get some jerk conscientious cacher like me, who puts an NA on your cache, and now you get to explain to a Reviewer.

 - And good luck placing another without playing 20 questions (with maybe pics too) if you're gonna ever hide again...      :)

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Figured out a way to upload a picture, here it is (covered the coordinates on the tag to not spoil the cache and where it is).

 

 

Screenshot_20220523-194131.thumb.png.9ef6cf401478b27d51bbb8e8b3e3d865.png

 

As you can see at the top and bottom of the tag, there are two nails that are nailed into the tree.

 

The account that owns this cache (original owner quit so they now adopted it around 2009) is an account mostly used for hosting event caches and I'm sure that the account is owned by a group of highly known cachers in our area, some of them have tens of thousands of finds.

 

I'm guessing that they followed the rules while placing this tag.

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9 minutes ago, geotracters said:

Figured out a way to upload a picture, here it is (covered the coordinates on the tag to not spoil the cache and where it is).

 

 

Screenshot_20220523-194131.thumb.png.9ef6cf401478b27d51bbb8e8b3e3d865.png

 

As you can see at the top and bottom of the tag, there are two nails that are nailed into the tree.

 

The account that owns this cache (original owner quit so they now adopted it around 2009) is an account mostly used for hosting event caches and I'm sure that the account is owned by a group of highly known cachers in our area, some of them have tens of thousands of finds.

 

I'm guessing that they followed the rules while placing this tag.

Most likely they didn't follow the rules. Just haven't been called on it yet.

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6 minutes ago, geotracters said:

The account that owns this cache (original owner quit so they now adopted it around 2009) is an account mostly used for hosting event caches and I'm sure that the account is owned by a group of highly known cachers in our area, some of them have tens of thousands of finds.

 

I'm guessing that they followed the rules while placing this tag.

 

I don't know whether the Guidelines specifically forbade nailing things to trees back then, as I only started playing in 2013, but as far as I know there's always been a "leave no trace" principle, in that when a cache is removed, there should be no trace it was ever there. Nails in trees are just wrong at so many levels, even if those doing it have tens of thousands of finds.

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17 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I don't know whether the Guidelines specifically forbade nailing things to trees back then, as I only started playing in 2013, but as far as I know there's always been a "leave no trace" principle, in that when a cache is removed, there should be no trace it was ever there. Nails in trees are just wrong at so many levels, even if those doing it have tens of thousands of finds.

If I happen to find one of the people who manages the account, I could try to ask them to change the tag to a different spot that isn't nailed to a tree or maybe why they kept the tag in the tree, as there could be a good explanation.

 

The cache was originally published back in 2003, so I'm guessing the "no nailing tags into trees" rule didn't exist at the time.

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3 minutes ago, geotracters said:

The cache was originally published back in 2003, so I'm guessing the "no nailing tags into trees" rule didn't exist at the time.

I'd bet they'll be very happy you brought it to everyone's attention.  :D

 

We were surprised when we started in '04, that few members there years before us barely knew about any of the guidelines.

One incensed EO promised they were gonna email Groundspeak to report me, when I explained that there's no requirement to sign the log at events to others.

 -  They were an '02 cacher that held numerous events...   

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4 hours ago, geotracters said:

The cache was originally published back in 2003, so I'm guessing the "no nailing tags into trees" rule didn't exist at the time.

It doesn't matter whether or not there's an official Geocaching guideline. 

 

Nailing things into trees simply destroys a part of an old plant just for a game. In worst case, you are able to destroy the entire tree with this (you wound it and open it for any kind of bacteria and similar). You should never think about it and it should not need a guideline for it: A human brain should be enough here ;)

Edited by S-Man42
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1 hour ago, S-Man42 said:

It doesn't matter whether or not there's an official Geocaching guideline. 

 

Nailing things into trees simply destroys a part of an old plant just for a game. In worst case, you are able to destroy the entire tree with this (you wound it and open it for any kind of bacteria and similar). You should never think about it and it should not need a guideline for it: A human brain should be enough here ;)

I'd hate to be a snitch, but I might have to report it to one of my local reviewers then. If not, I'll probably contact someone who is part of the group and inform them about not nailing tags into trees.

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On 5/24/2022 at 6:35 AM, lee737 said:

1. Around here, if it is public bushland/park, just submit with implied permission.

2. Cable tie, wire

Don't make that tight though, and make it a cable tie that can break when the tree grows, or otherwise you might damage the tree.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, lee737 said:

I must say I found it amusing to see signs nailed to trees in the Botanic Gardens in Sydney a few years back... :D

 

 

At a preserve near where I live, there are little "tree identification" signs nailed to trees by a nature conservancy.  The plastic signs ride on steel springs held with nails loosely, so the bark can grow outward and not "eat" the nails and signs.  That's an idea.  But they are experts, so they must know which metal to select for nails, and how the nails interact with trees. 

 

And after 15 years, several of those trees died and were cut down.  Hmmm...  Naw...  That I'm sure that was a coincidence. ^_^

 

[Not kidding that the trees died.  I had a Geocache that relied on those signs and tree identification.  I had to archive it after too many trees were removed.  It may not have been "the nails", but the trees and their signs are gone.  Anyway, trees are not necessarily permanent fixtures to nail things to.  At least 3 of my caches were gone when trees went bye-bye.]

 

Edited by kunarion
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On 5/23/2022 at 4:21 PM, geotracters said:

What are some ways that I can put the tag into the tree without nailing it in?

 

I had a lot of luck with Spiderwire braided fishing line.  It's dark gray/green, sturdy, and can be looped loosely and tied anywhere.  And it doesn't break.  I had a match-tube-sized cache container set up for years, with it hanging on a strand of Spiderwire.  Same for a couple of tags as stages for a cache.  Usually, I use a loop of coated gardening wire.  But I liked the Spiderwire because it blends so well outdoors.  I'll probably try it again at some point.

 

Edited by kunarion
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47 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Don't make that tight though, and make it a cable tie that can break when the tree grows, or otherwise you might damage the tree.

 

I have a rope loosely wrapped around the branch of a small tree with sturdy branches.  Unwrap the rope to lower the cache box from a branch of another tree nearby.  Cool.  Except that over the years, the bush "ate" that rope.  It was just laying there, not tied nor tight.  Now it's fully embedded in the branch.  A tree is a living thing.  Regardless of the attachment, you may be surprised at what happens.  I sure was.

 

I had a fake birdhouse held as loosely as I could around a tree, using elastic bungee cord.  In less than a year, the tree was starting to grow past the bungee cord (you could begin to see strap marks).  In a nature preserve!  That's a bad look.  I tried moving the straps, loosening them more, same thing.  Decided to archive it.  Never in my life will I be "nailing" trees.  If the nails become a ghastly wound... that's a bad look.

 

But there is a stainless steel screw, 6 feet up in a tree in a park.  It's secure, it's fine, the bark is perfect, it's been that way for years.  And I admit... it's tempting.  :anicute:

 

Edited by kunarion
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14 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

I have a rope loosely wrapped around the branch of a small tree with sturdy branches. 

Unwrap the rope to lower the cache box from a branch of another tree nearby.  Cool. 

Except that over the years, the bush "ate" that rope.  It was just laying there, not tied nor tight.  Now it's fully embedded in the branch. 

A tree is a living thing.  Regardless of the attachment, you may be surprised at what happens.  I sure was.

 

Yep.  We put burlaps "bands" around our maple trees when the gypsy moths were a real problem (they hide underneath and you squish 'em). 

Many stretches of the bands couldn't be removed in a season's time. Some still have fiber visible.

Watch the branch trims.  If they're growing new shoots, the tree's active. How many people have seen bikes embedded in trees...

 

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Do not use nails, but even more important, never use screws! Short tacks with a large head can be pushed out by the tree as the tree grows, so they are not so bad. Screws are quickly "eaten" by the tree, sabotaging any future saw as well as your sign.

 

Strings are good, but they need to have good slack, to avoid tree strangling. Also, you need to use good strings. Avoid cheap materials like PP that deteriorate in sunlight.

 

Dead trees is a different matter. They don't grow.

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I use bare 14 gauge copper wire to hang tags.  Thick enough to resist failure from corrosion.  Use pliers to bend it, but it can be bent by hand.  Bend into a loop or “S”.  
 

Regarding nails:  Trees eventually die and some need to be cut up.  Nails will damage a chain saw and possibly cause an injury to the saw operator.  

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8 hours ago, Joe_L said:

Regarding nails:  Trees eventually die and some need to be cut up.  Nails will damage a chain saw and possibly cause an injury to the saw operator.  

 

Precisely, there will almost always be a saw in the tree at one point. Nails are bad, screws are worse.

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