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  1. #1
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    Best fastener for attaching signs to trees

    Hi,

    I'm helping to put up intersection markers on our local trails and the land manager is currently researching fasteners. The signs will be mounted on trees.

    The guys at the fastener place recommended some deck screws. The land manager has a bunch of aluminum nails already in his possession. He also said that aluminum was the most logger friendly, as this is a managed forest. He is wondering about the durability though, the signs weren't cheap and there are over 200 of them, so we want to get as much life out of them as possible.

    Any thoughts or ideas? Obviously its his call, but I figure it can't hurt to get some opinions and ideas to bounce off him.
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  2. #2
    saddlemeat
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    What type of signs, what are they made of? The aluminum nails are ok if they will do the job, although not as convenient or easily reversible as screws. Are they aluminum roofing nails?
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  3. #3
    gran jefe
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    it's not like aluminum is going to rust away or anything... i'd use short aluminum nails.

  4. #4
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    LOL, just dont use copper nails....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  5. #5
    FloridaKeys Fishing Guide
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    IMHO aluminum nails should be ok depending on your sign material and their thickness. Screws would be better as they won't come out as easy when the trees grow or flex in the wind..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  6. #6
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    we used a small piece of pressure treated 4x4 and screwed that to the trees as a mounting plate then attached the signs to it.
    Misfit diSSent 1x10
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  7. #7
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    Thanks, the signs are fairly small, maybe 8" x 10". They pretty much just have a 3 or 4 letter/number intersection code. I think the signs are also aluminum, but they may be a hard plastic. I haven't had them in my hand yet.

    I agree that screws would probably be better than nails.

    Tone's, I don't get the joke? Copper too soft? I actually have some old copper roofing nails that I packratted from my grandfathers house, but I wasn't considering using those.
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  8. #8
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    Thanks, the signs are fairly small, maybe 8" x 10". They pretty much just have a 3 or 4 letter/number intersection code. I think the signs are also aluminum, but they may be a hard plastic. I haven't had them in my hand yet.

    I agree that screws would probably be better than nails.

    Tone's, I don't get the joke? Copper too soft? I actually have some old copper roofing nails that I packratted from my grandfathers house, but I wasn't considering using those.
    Mate dont use the copper lol, im a horticulturist and arborist buy trade although im a fishing guide now, but copper kills trees bro.
    Its an old method not used much anymore are we have good herbicides around now that you can inject but to kill even a very well sized tree you can pit a few copper nails in the roots or trunk, the copper will react with the sap in the cambium layer and slowly kill the tree, cheers mate

    Google, ''copper nails to kill trees'' and you will find hundreds of methods and discussions about it, its a very interesting topic, yes you generally need a few nails to kill a big tree bit even one will do a tree a lot of damage.

    Alloy or steel is fine in most trees, the tree will swallow it up eventually, but any type of nailing will have the potential to let pest and disease into the tree depending on the species
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
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    Nails will be just fine for those signs, and may discourage a sign stealer with a leatherman in his pocket. Put a larger flat washer under the nail head to make it more difficult to rip off.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  10. #10
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    Here's a sign at our local trails. You can see the 4x4 mount a bit on the bottom. It's about 10ft of the ground to discourage vandals. Best fastener for attaching signs to trees-imageuploadedbytapatalk1351463122.136804.jpg
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  11. #11
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    OK, copper is out! We've got plenty of dead trees already, as the forest is recovering from a couple of massive caterpillar attacks about 10 years ago. Hundreds of acres of dead oaks that are only recently starting to fall. Which reminds me, Sandy probably dropped about 40 of those suckers across our trails. Time to fire up the saw.... again.
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  12. #12
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    Mcfeelys.com for different ideas

  13. #13
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    We're gonna go with the aluminum nails that the land manager already has. They have ribs on the shaft and a little rubber washer to give the tree room to grow.

    Easier to attach than screws too.

    One thing I was told is to put your nails or screws in so that one is above the other. The way trees grow the distance between two vertical points will not change, but as the tree gets wider the distance between 2 horizontal points will change as the tree grows in width, possibly pulling out nails or damaging the signs or tree.
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  14. #14
    gran jefe
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    I had always seen blazes nailed in like you say, but never thought of why. Cool.

  15. #15
    saddlemeat
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    ^^Those are corrugated roofing nails, great choice.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  16. #16
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post

    We're gonna go with the aluminum nails...

    ...One thing I was told is to put your nails or screws in so that one is above the other.
    Also, don't send them all the way in. This way the tree can grow several years and the marker will simply push out on the nail shaft.
    Last edited by huffster; 11-06-2012 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Sounds like you already figured this out.

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