Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
beating trees with a bat

Posted by ken_adrian z5 (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 13:40

it is said.. it will stimulate a struggling tree to inspire itself to grow with more vigor ...

i presume threatening its life somehow releases some growth hormones ...

old wives tale???

old warlocks tale???

and most importantly .. have you ever done it??? ... come on.. fess up

i did.. i cant say there was any effect.. but i sure felt better.. lol ... and the oak is still retarded ...

ken


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Didn't Shigo refute this old practice?

Dan


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 14:07

Ken, I'll need your address to arrange picketers from PET A (P) to come over for a visit.

I've never heard anyone claim that such a practice would increase vigor. I have heard people claim it could help stimulate flowering/fruiting. I have doubts, but maybe it would work when the tree responds to stress. Trees often produce flowers/fruit in response to other types of stress.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

did shigo get his bat taken away???

if a plant wont flower.. and then you do this, and it does flower .. wouldnt that be an increase in vigor, brandon???

ken


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I've heard it said that trauma will thicken the trunk...and I've noticed some trees in parking lots seem to have thickened, scarrified trunks as a result of repeated contact with car bumpers. I've never tried it on one of my own plants, however.

Josh


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by brandon7 6b (like 7b now) TN (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 15:49

if a plant wont flower.. and then you do this, and it does flower .. wouldnt that be an increase in vigor, brandon???

Not as I've seen vigor commonly defined.

------------------------------

There was another thread about this subject a few years(?) ago. I looked to try to find it and see what was said, but had no luck.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

The old syrup tappers used to do this prior to harvest, but as to whether you can beat on, say, a honeylocust and while avoiding damaging the thin bark stimulate sap movement is questionable. Surely on a conifer there is a danger of cavitation and whether the deciduous trees find it stimulating is, AFAICT, not supported by the literature, botany, or anything else.

Dan


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 21:41

Trying to beat on a bat with a tree might be an even more questionable use of effort. Too large and clumsy a weapon for such a small, fast-moving target.

Note that if you do something to one test subject and then decide something observed later was a result of that undertaking, without multiple test subjects getting the same treatment and an equal number of controls (untreated subjects) being present you don't really know that particular outcome was demonstrated.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I wonder what the neighbors were thinking.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I think this practice is of more benefit to the whacker than the whackee. Kind of like going to a batting cage to let off steam. I believe it's a guy thing. Ken, thank you for brightening my day!
Barb


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I recall 15-20 years ago watching a garden show suggesting that. They were dealing with a 2-3 inch caliper sapling, so they were using rolled up newspaper "to promote growth". Never seen or heard about it since...until now, that is.

tj


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Well, from my experience watching my friend and her tree, the whacking does work.

She had a young pear tree that would not produce, flowered well, but no fruit for several years. Her grandmother told her to take the baseball bat and whack the trunk of tree for a while. I think the timing was while tree was blooming, and tree did indeed produce a LOT of pears that year. Gramma said it was a common practice, she used it and knew others who did, and trees then produced well after.

Trees were younger, but trees planted with them were producing. This was used on nice looking trees, after several years of no fruit, that owner thought SHOULD be producing.

So one whacking to a tree in it's life. Not needed again. All I heard about getting whacked were fruit trees of various kinds planted on the farm.

Gramma was pretty old when she told my friend to whack the pear tree, and that was MANY years ago. So information would be over 100 years old now.

I would whack the tree, if I thought it would help improve tree, to heck with the neighbors! Thanks for making me remember my friend and me laughing so hard when I saw her whacking the tree, and Gramma saying it would work. Haven't thought of that story for a long time.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

ron that is hilarious... hitting a tree with a little black furry thing... lol ...

ken


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I recall 15-20 years ago watching a garden show suggesting that. They were dealing with a 2-3 inch caliper sapling, so they were using rolled up newspaper "to promote growth".

That sounds like Jerry Baker.

Nonetheless, physiologically I can't picture the biological mechanism that is promoted/activated by this whacking-smacking activity.

Surely the trunk sway by wind is more effective and widespread in the tree, and what is the correlation of heavier fruiting and spring wind events??

Dan


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 9, 10 at 11:55

Again, whacking one tree, without any unwhacked trees involved does not demonstrate that it was effective. The tree may have been ready to bloom anyway, without even one control (untreated pear tree of same age and kind, on same site) present there was no basis for comparison.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I wonder if there is a tree that has evolved expecting animals to rub against the trunk?


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I've heard of this being done; haven't seen it & have no first-hand experience with whether it works. Since the question comes up 'Why would it?' I thought I might add a thought.

Is it within reason that the plant may somehow register that it has suffered injury, and divert more resources into reproduction given the possibility that it is injured or its environment may've gotten more adverse?

We pull old wilting blooms of some flowers (e.g.: Petunias) to trigger a greater investment in flower production by stopping the hormonal feedback that inhibits it. Different mechanism, but an example of how reproductive effort can be influenced by environmental factors.

Richard.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I know a man that drives an iron crosstie spike into his pecan trees, says it helps with fruit production.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

It is interesting the different results one may get from beating a tree w/bat.
I have heard that they also use this method when trying to lure a Bigfoot into camera range.

lp


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 9, 10 at 22:52

You need the sasquatch to pick up the trees to be swung at bats.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Does it make a difference what kind of bat? Maybe a Maple bat will have a different effect than an Ash on an Oak? What about Aluminum bats? That pinging sound will scare away all the squirrels, so is that good or bad?


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Back to drrich's interesting comment, I suppose 'registering injury' is possible, but I wonder how the tree would differentiate between wind torque and an object striking the trunk?

Dan


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

OMG. I can't help it... no relevancy to topic...but... Everyone in the office is looking at me like I'm nuts. ROTFLMBO.

Alexis


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Ah, the old adage:
A dog, A wife, A hickory tree,
The more you beat 'em,
The better they be.
(Mind you, now, I'm merely repeating it, not recommending it!)

There have been folks who specialize in creating wooden implements - veritable works of art - from 'figured-grained' woods, burls, etc., who specialize in 'creating' some spectacular woody anomalies, over years/decades' time by bludgeoning selected trees repeatedly, allowing the original lesions to heal before imparting a fresh, new batch of cambium damage by way of incredible damage done by beating the trunk with bat, mallet, etc.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Tired of your dull looking trees?
Broke from buying fertilizer and soil amendments?
Jealous of your neighbors' wonderful tree growth?
We have the answer-- Introducing "Miracle Grow Bat" (TM)
How much would you pay for a bat, made from aged slash pine, that could increase your tree growth by 30-40 even 60 percent?
We've unlocked the anceint secrets of tree growth, used in Germany for generations!
For the next 100 callers we're giving away the "Miracle Grow Bat" for the low, low price of 49.95!
Act now and we'll throw in a free sham-wow just pay separate shipping and handling.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

ROTFLMBO,

I'm lost,just can't figure out what that stands for.

lp


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Rolling
On
The
Floor
Laughing
My
But
Off

ken


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 12, 10 at 12:53

I wonder if the concept of whoopin' the tree is akin to the practice of knife girdling peach trees to increase fruit size? No pain, no gain? Found the link below...
hortster

Here is a link that might be useful: Knife girdling


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I've never heard that old age, but I like it! ;)

Josh


 o
RE: typo

"adage," sorry.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

I heard of this a while back. I've never gone at a tree w/ a bat, but i have kicked and shaken a tree to see if it makes it stronger. LOL. ROFLLMAOWTFBBQ


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Severe, near-life-threatening damage can - and may be utilized to - induce reinvigoration &/or fruiting in senescent fruit/nut trees.
Some older pecan orchards use 'hedging' to force old, non-bearing trees back into production for a period of time, while younger, more productive new trees are coming on. The older trees may be cut back almost to the main trunk on one or two sides each consecutive year(25-50% of mature canopy removed), resulting in vigorous regrowth and reinitiation of short-term nut production. Once the 'replacement' trees begin to come into bearing, the old, senescent trees are removed.

Several years ago, Hurricane Opal swept up through and across much of MS/AL/GA, uprooting many older pecans - but most older non-bearing trees that survived the onslaught were 'shaken up' enough, that the subsequent year resulted in bumper crops of nuts from many of those senescent old trees - and then they slumped back into the relative non-productiveness one would expect of centenarians.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Years ago when the DIF technique was being investigated to replace growth regulating chemicals in g'house crops, much the same story was circulating about keeping internode length shortened and increasing stem size by 'stimulating' the tops of growing seedlings. IOW softly brushing the foliage on a regular schedule. I had forgotten all about that. Same rationale I imagine as not staking trees, to let the wind accomplish strengthening the trunk. I had forgotten all about beating on trees, thanks for the chuckle and the memory.

My folks lived in the city and there were some loutish brats down the street of questionable intelligence who used to regularly beat on the landscape trees up and down the street. Dang, I should kept records. Can't say if it did any good or not, because the utility companies topped them all out until they died premature deaths.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Two years ago, my neighbor threw a lawn party during which some unruly 10-year olds decided to take a baseball bat to his prized Honeylocust Tree. At the time, it seemed the only fair response was to reverse the roles. But discretion prevailed, and we watched in amazement at how the tree repaired broken and splintered bark and returned to previous vigorous status. Nothing scientific here, but I never thought that beating a tree with a baseball bat would ever be discussed in this forum.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

pinballer,
I've been hanging around these forums since at least 1996, and the 'beating a tree' topic has come up several times through the years.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

Linked below is an online Extension publication, "Figure in Wood: An Annotated Review", by Dr. Harold O. Beals, whom I knew from my childhood. There's a discussion section near the end of the booklet, with some photos and descriptions of artificial production of figured-grain in some tree species.
Might be of interest to some of the regulars here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Figure in Wood


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 18, 10 at 7:51

Dan Staley, you're right in this sounds like Jerry Baker, "America's Master Gardener". In his book, Plants Are Like People, he makes reference where he counted the bushel baskets of leaves a Maple tree produced in the Fall. After whacking the tree with a bat, he ended up with way more leaves the following year.
That's about the time I threw the book away.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

  • Posted by rwng IL-Z5 (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 8, 10 at 12:34

Years ago, I saw a show where the guy "whacked" the trunks with a piece of a garden hose. (May have been Baker) He said to do it in early spring to stimulate new growth.


 o
RE: beating trees with a bat

20 or so years ago I also heard about the practice of beating trees to increase flower and fruit production. The tree gets into a survival mode and will produce more offspring. Similarly works root pruning.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here