I don’t necessarily recommend anyone actually doing what I’ve done above. This post is mostly just for comedy purposes and for the fun of showing you what I’ve been up to lately. I’d really like to buy a nice camper shell that rises higher than the cab of my truck for moving trees around. I searched for several months all over Craigslist with no luck in finding a used version of what I want. I also just couldn't bring myself to spend the $2,000 for a nice new one.
So I used long wood screws and built this structure out of some wood crates I had at the house. I made sure the structure was tied down extremely tightly, so that it wouldn't move an inch and covered it with a mesh tarp. While it might not be the ideal way to transport trees around, it works better than nothing for now.
These days backpackers use better technology with internally framed backpacks. This means that you can probably find one of these old metal framed packs inexpensively. I think they work really well for tying trees up and hiking them back to your vehicle. I bent a piece of rebar into shape using a sturdy vice and then used industrial strength zip ties to attach it to the metal frame. I used electrical tape around the rebar as a preventative to keep it from rusting. It turned out to be very strong.
A better option and something I’ll invest in for the future would be a nice hunting pack used for carrying large game out of the forest. That would be a lot lighter option and a better for long term collecting.
Here’s a little Ponderosa I tied to the back of my pack, having the ledge makes things much easier. I also use a hunting cart for bigger trees when the conditions are right. Although I’ve found that often there’s no accessible path from the tree to your vehicle.