Attaching light fixtures to trees....

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On 10/21/2010 8:41 AM, Existential Angst wrote:

Lag bolt a board to the tree. Mount to the board.
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Steve Barker
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Existential Angst wrote:

Some trees appreciate metal. This one fell in love, and won't give it up.
http://a.yfrog.com/img217/1561/againsttree.jpg
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Beryl wrote:

The ones I put up are lagged in place with 4 stainless lags each. They are headless lags with machine threads on one end and lag screw on the other. Drilled a pilot hole and screwed them in about 4" and left about 4" sticking out. To them I mounted a nice piece of stainless plate and the light was mounted to that. Nice and solid and there is space for the tree to grow. Now I am just waiting for a new tree to grow out in the middle of the yard so I can mount a light there... May be a while!
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Steve W.

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On Fri, 22 Oct 2010 19:22:41 -0400, Steve W. wrote:

Wouldn't it be more fun to install a pole and light and report on it here? ;-)
Cheers! Rich
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OK, screws it will be. Altho lag bolts sort of make me cringe. I'll try SS deck screws.
A mildly inneresting corollary to the tree growth issue is that if screwing, the screws should be in a straight axial line along the trunk, with no radial variation.
Appreciate all the great input -- from both rcm-ers and ahr-ers -- ping Una.... :)
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EA

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Why?
If you're very anxious about infection, you might look into putting some lanolin or grafting wax into the pre-drilled hole before inserting the screw. Researchers who core trees sometimes recommend that treatment,[1] although I am aware of no research addressing its utility.
    Una
[1] http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr25.pdf
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On using lag screws- you could use long lag bolts with machine threaded ends, and leave a few inches sticking out of the tree. Attach the box etc to the screw ends with nuts under/over and make sure the box is also several inches from the tree.
It will take years for the tree to fill the gap between the screws and the mount. You could even move the mounts out with female threaded standoffs after those years go by.
Dave
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Several people have mentioned installing the light box so it stands off from the tree, to permit less frequent preventive maintenance. However, there is one possible shortcoming of this arrangement. If the box is mounted on just 2 screws and not against the tree, in windy weather the the box may pivot slightly around its virtual axis between the screw attachment points. That could make the illumination jittery, which can be very annoying.
And yes, for screwing into a live tree the screws do need to be set in a radial plane (meaning, pointing to the center of the tree), and in a vertical row.
    Una
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On Thu, 21 Oct 2010 09:41:00 -0400, "Existential Angst"

Just nail a board to the tree, use long nails, leave the nails a little loose so the board moves outward as the tree grows. Attach light to board. I'd suggest stainless steel nails, but I dont think they make them, so use galvanized, or just check and replace them every few years. Also, the tree moves from wind. Will this affect the wires? A wooden post might be better. Just a plain treated 4x4 placed about 30 inches or more in the ground would do. We're only talking $10 or less for the post. That will make a more permanent installation.
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