Woodshed Wonder 05: Hook, Line, or Neither?

It’s not unusual to see laundry hanging from a line strung from a tree trunk. Your linens love it, and so does the environment, but how do trees feel about a laundry line? It depends on how it’s attached.

A log with a hook in it.

Arborists everywhere know that it’s important to keep an eye out for forgotten hooks, nails, wire, or metal decorations before making a cut. If our chainsaws hit metal, sparks fly and the rest of the day is either spent sharpening the chain or buying a new one. The diamond shape you see slashed around the hook are left by one of our groundworkers to warn their colleagues of the metal hazard.

While this hook is dangerous to our saws, the tree doesn’t mind it being there. The hook is punctures just one point of the bark, and only a small amount. You can see in this video that the inside of the tree appears undisturbed by the small puncture.

When hanging your clothesline on a tree, a hook such as this one is the way to go. For the sake of the tree, it’s best to avoid wrapping wire around the trunk. It will cause friction wounds, and the tree may eventually grow over it improperly.

wire wrapped around a tree.
A wound from wrapping wire around a trunk.

Find any woodshed wonders in your stockpile this home heating season? Send us a photo and we may dissect them for you.