~Official GL Origin and Histree~
Above is the Standard GL with 5-1/4" throw into tree (left end), 6" pirch for attachments (right end).
Creation of the Original Garnier Limb® Treehouse Fastener
by Michael Garnier
The way I remember it-
(of early prototypes, above left was disappointing)
I built my first Treehouse in 1990 to last 20 years and it has passed that 20 this May, 2010. The tree naturally reacted to the new load and grew extra wood below the bracket (bolster blocked it). The beam has fared well because there was no wood to wood contact for the first 18 years (no place for moisture and bugs to hide out). The problem with this method is that each year this bracket eventually becomes more intrusive to the tree. Trees grow a new ring of wood every year. The bolted metal brackets do not allow this. This helps the Treehouse by bolster blocking, but ends up hurting the tree by not allowing the bark and cambium to expand. J-lag hooks and straight lags did not even hold their recommended working load limits.
After the discouraging results were in from the testing we did, the idea of simulating the design in a limb of a tree was entertained. I thought this was a great idea being that trees hold massive loads out away from their trunks on the branches.
Later that year I met and befriended Scott Baker, a consulting arborist. It was his opinion, and it became mine, that it would be best to allow the tree more room to grow. This meant that the attachment point needed to be larger and or stronger to account for leverage. It is also our opinion that it is better to make one larger clean wound than numerous smaller ones.
A Better Treehouse Fastener
There were three basic designs presented at the 1998 World Treehouse Conference, Fairoaks (who did a lot of cabling of treehouses) brought a 12'' long 2'' diameter stainless steel mammoth with a channel on the end for a cable, Garnier had collared bolts and Greenwood's inserted pipe (picture of pipe prototype in the above built by Garnier, not Greenwood) .
The Fairoaks’ Limb won hands down and was so massive that at 10,000 pounds test weight, it started lifting the tree out of the ground. The problem with it was the difficulty of actually putting it in the tree, its size and therefore impact on the tree.
Greenwood’s design proved disappointing to say the least. Theoretically it had enough diameter of 1 ½", and depth at 2-3" to allow enough surface area for weight bearing.
An added benefit to the new GL’s superior weight bearing capacity, it proves to be far less intrusive to the tree overtime:
In late 1999 Jake Jacob started calling my Artificial Limb a 'Garnier Limb®' or 'GL' and it stuck.
In 2002 Greenwood developed the first HL or heavy limb. Greenwood and others have continued to make modifications to the Original Garnier Limb®. I never tried to patent the Garnier Limb® and welcome all and any improvements, and certainly thank all that I asked and received help from, paid for or not. The one thing that I ask is that you do not sell a Garnier Limb® . I developed (invented) the artificial limb known as Garnier Limb®. I spent a lot of time and money on developing the original. I continue to develop better ways to produce and implement the product. I don’t mind open sourcing, but do not expect me to give away my registered trade mark rights or trade secrets.
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