The request to ban hammocks in park trees does not come out of the blue. Clemson University, a knowledgeable agricultural source, has banned them, and the University of South Carolina is in the process of doing so.
Tight binding lines are usually used to hang hammocks in the same popular spots. Their use wears rub marks in the bark and insects and disease then can access and damage the trees.
Manufacturers say the straps are tree-friendly, and perhaps for individual one-time use that would be so; however, popular trees get multiple and even constant use and that means constant wear and damage.
Often hammock users like to be close together for fellowship, and the downward weight of several people becomes a major stress for tree limbs. The limbs of young trees are too frequently harmed by excess weight, which they are not ready to bear.
Charleston is known for its many treasures. What would our historic homes and parks look like with no trees or with damaged trees? We must protect them just as we protect our buildings and our history.
Charleston Trees urgently requests that City Council listen to the experts and ban hammocks from our public areas.
Chair, Charleston Trees
This letter was also signed by the 13 board members of Charleston Trees.