Drilling: Can You Drill Into a Tree? Drilling screws into trees can be a quick and simple way to put a platform in trees. It is a common activity for backyard builders, whether they are professionals or not. But is it possible to harm a tree by drilling into it? It won’t kill the tree, however, it can undoubtedly cause it to become infected.
Sometimes you need to drill into trees, hammer nails into trees or screw into trees. Arborists might drill into a tree in order to place support wires (e.g. for trees at risk of falling). A pest controller might drill into the trunk to check a tree termites. You might be building a fabulous tree house for the kids and itching to use that new cordless drill! All of this can be done without worrying about the tree’s condition if you do it right.
To safely drill through trees, you should be familiar with tree anatomy and growth. The bark serves as a protective layer to the tree. By drilling through it you expose the tree to pathogens and diseases which lead to damage. We have some tips to help you reduce this problem.
How to Drill into a Tree without Hurting It
Bark functions in the same way as skin for humans – it protects what is inside. You must treat the wound to prevent infection, just as you would with a cut. It’s the same for trees: if you have to cut it, make sure it is treated.
One is to protect the tree by drilling through it and sealing the wound. To seal an injury, most arborists use a pruning sealer. To prevent harmful foreign particles entering the tree’s inner layers, drill the trunk.
How can you kill a tree?
An electric chainsaw can cut through small trees. But if you’re wanting to be discrete, drilling holes in the roots is the best way to kill a tree. You then apply a tree killer to the roots. If you’re thinking about killing a tree in your neighbours yard to improve your view, remember, it is illegal to damage the property of others.
How can you attach something to a tree while not damaging the tree?
What are the best screws or nails for trees? You don’t want a tree nail or screw to rust. It’s important to use stainless steel, aluminum, or galvanised screws and nails for this purpose.
With the proper equipment and care, it is possible to screw into trees without causing damage. Even if you attach a large object such as a treehouse, this is possible.
When screwing into trees, there are two rules: make only as many holes (in most cases just one or two) and never try to attach a treehouse to a small tree or one lacking structural integrity.
A treehouse attachment bolt (also known as a TAB), and a floating bracket are the safest and most effective ways to attach a treehouse to a tree. TAB is a bolt designed to attach treehouses to live trees as the name suggests. They’re very strong and typically rated into the 1000’s of pounds. The TAB can be attached to the floating bracket, which provides a solid base while giving the tree some flexibility.
All of the above allow a tree to grow and extend it’s girth, unlike a rope. Avoid wrapping ropes around tree’s for this reason, you’re effectively strangling them!
If you’re building a treehouse or any other project, we hope this helps care of your tree and safety.