Q:

Do nails kill trees?

A:

Quick Answer

Nails do not kill healthy, mature trees. Trees survive puncture wounds by establishing a boundary around the injured tissue through a process known as compartmentalization. The boundary protects the new tissue that regenerates around the sealed-off wound from disease and decay.

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Full Answer

Nails can, however, be harmful to young, small or unhealthy trees. They can penetrate the bark and damage the phloem and xylem tissues, which are responsible for transporting water and nutrients throughout the plant. In addition, puncture wounds make trees more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Straps at least half an inch wide can be used to attach objects to trees instead of nails. Also, galvanized and stainless steel nails are safer for trees than nails that rust.

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