Karen Cranford's List Of Columns
public and private groups have banned the use of screw-in-type products
on their hunting land. Cranford Manufacturing produces a rope-style
tree step, the EZY® Climb Folding
Rope Tree Step for use in these situations. This step causes
no tree damage and has proven to be quite safe in practical application
over the years. However, we have evidence supporting our belief that
our screw-in hunting products do not cause long-term damage to trees.
(This may or may not be the case with other manufacturers' products typically
having bulging, rough, rolled threads that make a larger non-tapered hole.)
To back up this claim, allow me to point out that we have a large old
oak tree located behind our plant that we refer to as the "testing tree".
This tree has had, conservatively, hundreds if not thousands of tree steps
and accessories screwed into it over the 28 years that we have been manufacturing
tree steps in this facility.
Our "Testing Tree" tree
is still very much alive and healthy. This testimony alone speaks
volumes, but there is more evidence.
Additionally, over the years, a number of customers have commented to
us that they hunt from the same tree (or trees) year-after-year.
Annually, they attempt to locate the spots the steps were screwed in the
previous year so they can "reuse" the holes. They typically indicate
they are unable to locate the old holes. The holes close (self-heal)
Please note, CMCI does not recommend "reusing" a hole for the installation
of a tree step. This is a very unsafe practice. With each installation
of a tree step, the screw needs to create its own hole in the tree formed
tightly to the screw's threads. In addition, one should never
drill a pilot hole and insert a tree step into that hole for the same reason.
To safely be able to climb on a tree step, you must allow the tree step
screw to create its own tapered hole with the wood of the tree gripping
tightly to the entire screw. (For more safety information visit http://www.ezyclimb.com/warnings.htm.)
The real danger in the use of screw-in products for hunting is when
the products are left behind in the tree. Over time, the tree will
grow over and encase the tree step or other accessory.
If the tree is later harvested for lumber, the sawmill will pay the
price, in damaged equipment, when their equipment encounters that piece
of steel embedded in the tree. However, this situation can be completely
remedied by the proper use of the equipment.
We as the manufacturer have no control over this. Each and every
hunter must responsibly use and account for all of their equipment after
each use. Our instructions indicate that one should not leave a tree
step, or other accessory, installed in a tree for extended periods of time.
Not only does this pose a hazard for the logging industry as indicated
above, but also this poses a hazard to the hunter himself. When a
tree step is left in a tree for an extended period of time, the metal can
be corroded by the chemicals with which it comes in constant contact.
In addition, it has been reported to one insurance company that tree
steps (thankfully not one of our brand) were left installed in a tree over
a winter freeze and growth period of the tree. This caused the screw to
be broken in half inside the tree as the growth circles in the tree shifted
during growth, freezing, and thawing activities. An uninformed climber
can step on such a tree step only to have it surprisingly pull out of the
tree because of the broken screw. Again, this is not a situation
the manufacturer can control. The hunter is responsible for his or
her own reasonable and safe use of such products.
No one can actually guarantee anyone that the installation and use of
a screw-in type tree step will never damage any tree under any circumstances.
However, I believe the above information does prove that tree damage is
NOT the major concern that some anti-hunters and some hunters themselves
would have you to believe.
For more information go to: www.ezyclimb.com
Karen L Cranford
Karen is the Director of
Company, Inc., the creators of EZY®
Climb Tree Steps and Hunting
Accessories and the manufacturer of Guardian
Climbing Safety Systems and Angel