trolleys & posts // a temporary zip-line, made safe for trees
Thank you for the advice!
I'm just looking for a temporary fix until I get a fence. I only foster dogs, so they're only with me temporarily. Typically, they always are on leash with me when outside, but this one really likes to play fetch, so I was trying to come up with a way to play fetch with her in the yard, while she is still technically "on leash."
Do these overhead leash tie outs have to be tied to trees on either end?
I'll look into them!
actually, for the sake of the trees, that's not a good option.
It will slowly but surely kill the 'outside' side of the tree.
There's a linear relationship from root-tip to branch-tip, & interruptions will kill the overhead branch/es - the pressure from the outer curve of cable-noose slowly crushes the thin layer of cambium under the protective bark, & the cambium is where food & water travel upward.
Cambium is why deer or rabbits can gnaw a shallow girdle all the way around a young tree, & kill it - dead as a stone.
The bark of a sapling isn't sufficiently tough & thick to keep their teeth out, & the cambium is the tasty living layer that they gnaw thru the thin dead sheathe to reach, & eat.
U can use a post set in a poured wet-mix concrete, as is usually done, or skip the messy mixing -- set the post, add gravel & dry 'crete, wet and mix it "in place".
Mix dry small gravel with double the volume of powdered concrete
well, so the gravel is distributed; pour the dry mix evenly into the hole around the post while someone holds the post upright. Pour water over the dry mix, & use a thin piece of rebar to poke thru the dry-mix to create the slurry: stab, 'open', pour, pull, Repeat: stab, open... etc.
Depending on the ambient temp, curing takes longer in cool weather; concrete must entirely set-up before it's stressed.
TIPS for cold-weather curing -
Use wooden posts & screw the eye-bolt in, or metal posts that were drilled to accept a bolt-style eyebolt that takes a hex-nut & lock-washer to secure it, opposite the eye.
Or U can use a 'collar' type fastener with an eye - the curved collar is in 2 halves, with a hinge, & the eye goes vertically into a shaped slot. The collar fastens with a bolt & wing-nut.
For a fastening system that goes ON TOP of a square metal post, go to 4:15 on this how-to video
, & check out the anchoring system used for the shade-sail.
here's another option:
a zip-line of climbing rope running horizontal, using a LOCKING carabiner as the metal 'loop' overhead.
however, i wouldn't use a leash, as seen in the photos - too many dogs can shear thru their leash over time, by gnawing a little each time they bite it. I'd use a drop-down cable of nylon-coated bike-cable
, which any big-box hardware store can tailor-make to a custom length.
Don't forget, the rope ZIP-LINE won't have 'stops' to keep the dog from getting tangled around obstacles!
Overhead trolleys that come pre-packaged for installation, include the safety-stops.
But the zip-line, being temporary
, goes up & comes back down each time it's used -
the trees will be OK, so long as U pad the outside curve with eggcrate-style heavy-duty foam
under the rope. That inexpensive camping-mattress that U never use is a good source - cut 4 full-width slices, 1-ft deep, & stack them facing each other, flat sides out, egg-crate inward.
Wrap the stacked foam pieces in abrasion-resistant backpack material [U can cut-up a GoodWill-sourced back-pack & not cry over it], duct-tape across the gap to secure the wrapped foam at the height where U want it on the tree, & then wrap the rope zip-line entirely around it, securing it to itself with the spring-clip at the end.
Do the same at the other end. // If they don't look too hideous, the foam-pads can stay in place - just take the rope off
every time U finish playing 'fetch'.
Periodically, every month or 2 for fast-growing young trees, or for big mature trees, every 4 to 6-months, cut the tape
at the center & bridge across it with a new piece of duct-tape, to allow the tree to continue growing.
Tree trunks don't grow UP - they grow <=== OUT ===>, with the tree adding girth. Anything that doesn't expand, slowly strangles the tree.
Connect the drop-down to any inexpensive sturdy Y-harness
, adjusted to fit snug & flat; test the fit by pulling with both hands to the same side, one hand on the shoulder-strap & the other on the heart-girth; it should only slip an inch or two, not roll to one side.
No hardware should touch or even get close to the dog's tender 'armpits', where the elbows swing - no buckles, no slides.
The harness protects the dog's spine from serious injury if they HIT the end of the line with force.