Tree Stand Safety! Inspect the tree before you set up your stand.

November 2011

Tree Stand Safety


It is fall and you are gunning for a twelve point buck! You have scouted the woods and found a deer trail that looks like a highway. You are excited and prepare to put your stand in a tree in close proximity to the trail. But wait, did you think about that tree? Is it strong enough to hold you and your stand?  What should you look for?

Before installing your stand give the tree a good inspection. Use what arborists call Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) to make sure the tree will support  you and your stand. In your excitement don’t take chances which might lead to you getting hurt and your deer getting away!

When inspecting the tree look:

  • At the ground around the tree. Are there exposed roots? Does the tree lean with roots exposed on the side away from the lean? Are animals burrowing under roots?
  • At the root flare (area where the tree comes out of the ground). Is it decayed? Are there hollows or mushrooms? Have animals caused damage to the flare or lower trunk?
  • Over the trunk of the tree. Is bark missing? Are there fungal growths exuding from the side? Are there cracks that go deep into the wood or horizontally across the grain?
  • At the limb junction. Is it split or does it have fungus growing from it. Is there bark missing? Does it look swollen with a crease going parallel down from the junction? Does it look like it could split apart?
  • Finally at the upper limbs of the tree. Are there big dead limbs (look for missing bark on the limbs and/or missing smaller twigs and buds)? Are there loose limbs in the tree that could fall and hit you? Also make sure there are no utility lines running through the tree.

If your tree exhibits any of these symptoms you should pick another tree. I know you are excited and want to bag that big buck. But remember ‘There’s Always Time for Safety!™”

For more info check out my White Paper on Premise Liability and Your Trees!


“Consulting Arborist Corner” is brought to you by Jud Scott who is an avid hunter and a Registered Consulting Arborist. As a Consulting Arborist, Jud is available to assist you with your consulting needs and tree conflicts as they arise. Jud can be reached at 317-815-TREE (8733) or at

Final note: This article does not explain all aspects of Visual Tree Assessment (VTA). More research may be needed.

~ by daniel on November 17, 2012.

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