Trail grooming is often ignored but in reality can cause serious damage to a rider. I know of a few riders who have had chunks taken out of them by partial pruning jobs like the one shown below.
Don't get me wrong as I admit long ago I made the same mistake as a neophyte to mountain biking and trail building. And we all learn from those mistakes and improve our methods.
So that brings us to what is the best solution to the tree mounted Punji style sticks that can not only wreck you ride but potentially your life? The solution is to cut flush with the trunk of the tree as you see below. The goal being to create the least amount of hazard possible.
Because while we riders do accept that part of mountain biking is getting injured from crashes and pilot error like braking when we shouldn't. Things like not leaving Punji sticks on trees is something that can be easily remedied. And by doing so make the trails a little bit safer for you to ride. And it can only take a few minutes. Which if you look at it, interrupting your ride for 10-15 minutes cutting these hazards out is far better then stitches with long down time. Or losing an eye and not being able to ride again in the worst case.
Another advantage with cutting dead branches and such flush with the trunk is that it actually gives you more line options. With no Punji sticks forcing you to take a wider line you now have the option of taking a tighter more direct line. with the only limiting factor really is now your skill level.
Sure we all have limits on our free time and for some there is not alot of time to spend hours doing trail work. And if all you can do to contribute to your trail's is a few minutes every ride to prune out the dead branches or over growth. Well, if that is all you can do it is still better then doing nothing at all.
At a later date will have a review of a packable tool for thistype of trail work.