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Will hammering a nail into a tree kill or harm the tree?

 23/11/2015    Last Modified: 04/02/2016

Hammering anything into a tree is intrusive and will cause harm; a tree is a living organism and an injury such as this is damaging. The outer bark layer on a tree stem protects against disease and decay, anything that breaches it can allow the entry of harmful organisms. The significance of any harm will depend on a number of factors such as the extent of the injury, the species and age of the tree and its overall condition. For example, a single nail is unlikely to cause great harm to an established tree that has natural durability such as oak or sweet chestnut but it could be more harmful to a tree with lower durability such as birch or poplar.

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