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Name: Rodney
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: NJ
Country: USA
Date: Summer 2009

Is it possible for a oak tree to die from having a chain wrapped around it to hang a hammock? The tree grew around the chain a little and seem to wrap the chain.

It is possible for a chain wrapped around a tree trunk to essentially strangle ("gridle" is the correct word) the tree. The bark has active and essential conducting tissue for sugars and nutrients which can be disrupted as the trunk expands and tries to grow around the chain. Sometimes the tree is successful maintaining bark continuity across the chain. I would try to remove as much of the chain as possible without tearing the bark that has overgrown the chain. Use tin snip or bolt cutter to cut away as much as possible.

Jim Tokuhisa, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Horticulture Department
Virginia Tech

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