The Chainlink

I've heard recently from several treekeepers and naturalists about a
problem that can have a very negative effect on our environment in
places we live and visit.

People who lock their bikes to saplings or trees can kill those
trees. The cambium (living tissue layer in a tree's trunk) lies just
beneath the bark. If the bark is bruised or damaged by contact with
bike frame, or U lock, or chain, it can create an opening into which a
common fungal disease can enter. This can kill the tree and often
does.  A small tree (2" trunk diameter or smaller) is much more
vulnerable to damage.

Also, unless it's a pretty large tree, thieves will sometimes cut down trees to steal bikes locked to them.

Please try to avoid locking your bike to tree trunks.  If you have
absolutely no other option, try using a bandanna or other cushioning
material to minimize contact between the tree trunk, bike and lock.
Help save our trees that make such a huge difference in our quality of
life and in providing food and shelter to many species of animals.

Anne

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Replies to This Discussion

I would hope no one would lock to a tree that's anywhere close to being small enough to be broken with a strong kick.

Also, trees are scratchy, street signs aren't (as much).
i've had my landlady telling me not to lock my bike to the tree in front of the house -- after she disallowed locking bikes to the inside of the fence bars. my first impression is that i have never heard of any cases where a tree is cut to steal a bike. given that a standard u-lock has a 4in slot, i usually use a 3-4in tree. also, i hope you are not inferring that it is the bike's owner fault if a tree is cut, cause that would be analogous to someone getting raped and being doubly victimized -- it is 100% the perp's fault.

trees are pretty resilent in my opinion, and no, i don't fling my bike at the tree prior to locking up to it. locking up a bike tends to be a pretty delicate operation anyway.
While it isn't the bike owners fault that someone takes a bike, locking your bike in a manner that makes theft more difficult helps prevent a theft from happening. Not putting oneself in risky situation lowers the risk of being a victim of any crime.

Also no matter how "gentle" you are, a lock or bike rubbing or making long term contact with a tree can damage the bark of the tree. There are many diseases that affect trees, and just an open wound on the skin can lead to infection in human, damaged bark can lead to illness in trees. This is making a good suggestion that if you choose to lock you bike to a tree, simply to choice trees that are not saplings and use cloth to protect the tree. Young trees are much more susceptible to damage, just as young children are. The trees small enough for a ulock to fit around are young and vulnerable.


thang van ung said:
i've had my landlady telling me not to lock my bike to the tree in front of the house -- after she disallowed locking bikes to the inside of the fence bars. my first impression is that i have never heard of any cases where a tree is cut to steal a bike. given that a standard u-lock has a 4in slot, i usually use a 3-4in tree. also, i hope you are not inferring that it is the bike's owner fault if a tree is cut, cause that would be analogous to someone getting raped and being doubly victimized -- it is 100% the perp's fault.

trees are pretty resilent in my opinion, and no, i don't fling my bike at the tree prior to locking up to it. locking up a bike tends to be a pretty delicate operation anyway.
I wasn't implying you intended to harm trees, or that anyone but the thief is responsible for the damage if a thief cuts a tree. A small tree may not be a secure place to lock a bike.

Trees can be damaged more easily than you think. That was my purpose in posting the message. Many people injure them accidentally without realizing that they have done so. Some tree species are especially vulnerable to fungus or insect damage from just a small scrape, and that can start a chain reaction of events that may eventually kill the tree.

thang van ung said:
i've had my landlady telling me not to lock my bike to the tree in front of the house -- after she disallowed locking bikes to the inside of the fence bars. my first impression is that i have never heard of any cases where a tree is cut to steal a bike. given that a standard u-lock has a 4in slot, i usually use a 3-4in tree. also, i hope you are not inferring that it is the bike's owner fault if a tree is cut, cause that would be analogous to someone getting raped and being doubly victimized -- it is 100% the perp's fault.

trees are pretty resilent in my opinion, and no, i don't fling my bike at the tree prior to locking up to it. locking up a bike tends to be a pretty delicate operation anyway.
Well said!

Liz said:
While it isn't the bike owners fault that someone takes a bike, locking your bike in a manner that makes theft more difficult helps prevent a theft from happening. Not putting oneself in risky situation lowers the risk of being a victim of any crime.

Also no matter how "gentle" you are, a lock or bike rubbing or making long term contact with a tree can damage the bark of the tree. There are many diseases that affect trees, and just an open wound on the skin can lead to infection in human, damaged bark can lead to illness in trees. This is making a good suggestion that if you choose to lock you bike to a tree, simply to choice trees that are not saplings and use cloth to protect the tree. Young trees are much more susceptible to damage, just as young children are. The trees small enough for a ulock to fit around are young and vulnerable.


thang van ung said:
i've had my landlady telling me not to lock my bike to the tree in front of the house -- after she disallowed locking bikes to the inside of the fence bars. my first impression is that i have never heard of any cases where a tree is cut to steal a bike. given that a standard u-lock has a 4in slot, i usually use a 3-4in tree. also, i hope you are not inferring that it is the bike's owner fault if a tree is cut, cause that would be analogous to someone getting raped and being doubly victimized -- it is 100% the perp's fault.

trees are pretty resilent in my opinion, and no, i don't fling my bike at the tree prior to locking up to it. locking up a bike tends to be a pretty delicate operation anyway.
We don't have enough to worry about.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagowig/3868343338/"%20title=&...;"/>Bikerack.' />


i'm so guilt........ photo was taken outside performance
Way more secure than the tinker-toy "assembles without tools" racks there at P-Mart.

wig [ isaac ] said:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagowig/3868343338/"%20title=&...;"/>Bikerack.' />


i'm so guilt........ photo was taken outside performance
The first report to the registry of a tree being sawed to steal a bike:

http://chicago.stolenbike.org/node/190320

I would have preferred that this guy just leave the bike on the lawn unlocked for the thief rather than endanger a tree.
i hate to say it but that bike should have never been left alone outside (no matter how well locked).

it was too sweet looking and too unique. It was screaming out for attention.

hope it is found btw - it seems like a real work in progress


DB

H3N3 said:
The first report to the registry of a tree being sawed to steal a bike:

http://chicago.stolenbike.org/node/190320

I would have preferred that this guy just leave the bike on the lawn unlocked for the thief rather than endanger a tree.


This tree seemed to fare better than the bike
Every tree is sacred huh?

I think trees are grand. I'm all in favor of there being more trees at the end of the year, compared to when it started, than fewer. They are necessary for our health and our atmosphere.

But a tree is nothing more than a BIG carrot. Sure it's a lot bigger and lives for much longer but it's just a plant. Very few individual trees these days are "sacred" in that they can't be easily replaced if damaged or were in the way of something important like critical electrical/gas infrastructure. Most of the trees in the Chicago right of ways are cut down and replaced regularly anyhow by the city rather than mess around trimming them (yeah, it's stupid but it seems to be the case). It's probably cheaper by some cost/benefit labor metric.

Even the Vegans aren't against ripping a carrot by the hair right out of its family bed and throwing it into the chopper to die a painful death so they can CONSUME it.

Of course I'm not encouraging anyone to be an ass and damage other people's private property. But if I go to a place (like Petsmart on Elston and Logan) where there are ZERO bike racks or anytihng near to lock my bike up I'm not going to hesitate to lock my bike up to one of the 3" diameter shrubs in the lot islands for a few minutes while I get Kat fuud for Fattypuss.

It's not like it's some old-growth behemoth that was alive during the Roman Empire. Sure those should be saved. But as far as your ordinary garden-variety tree is concerned it's just a replaceable crop commodity.


H3N3 said:
The first report to the registry of a tree being sawed to steal a bike:

http://chicago.stolenbike.org/node/190320

I would have preferred that this guy just leave the bike on the lawn unlocked for the thief rather than endanger a tree.

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