Slackline Tree Protection: Community
As well as protecting the tree from abrasion, treepro also helps show that you care about the health of trees and the park. Policy makers often have rules on using treepro, so it is in your best interest to send the right signals. Best practice is to generously pad the entire tree as this will please most bystanders and be a clear visual signal. The more visual and obvious your treepro is in parks, the better!
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Healthy Tree Evaluation
Apart from trees being wide enough to create a sufficient anchor, you also have to make sure they are healthy, strong and of suitable species. Every region has different types of trees and it is impossible to give a definite guide for everyone in this limited space. Generally fruit trees and more decorative trees in parks are a bad idea to use for slackline anchors because their bark can be delicate. Furthermore it is a good idea to check for:
- Rot around the roots and trunk
- Hollow spots (found by knocking on the trunk)
- Vertical and horizontal cracks around the base and trunk
- Obvious lean and mounds caused by the roots being pushed up
- Bark falling off easily
- No leaves in the crown (tree might be dead)
- Mushrooms on the roots, trunk and surrounding area
Why is treepro important? It protects trees and our gear from unnecessary damage. It also makes park officers, city staff and the environmentally conscious bystander more comfortable with slackline use. Failure to use treepro might not only damage the tree, but your local slackline community could suffer, as access privileges are restricted. Also, make sure to evaluate anchor trees for health and use wide slings to further minimize cambium pressure and overall slackline impact. Avoiding trees with the forementioned health signs and demonstrating awareness will make your life easier when engaging with park officials and other people who want to discuss the consequences of slacklining. It also might help to avoid being squashed by a rotten tree.