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A Complete Guide: How to Build a Treehouse Without Hurting the Tree

A Complete Guide: How to Build a Treehouse Without Hurting the Tree

Spend more time outdoors and learn how to build a treehouse!

If you have a backyard and kids at home, chances are that your kids have already been bugging you to build a treehouse in your garden! And why not? After all, having a treehouse of their own is perhaps the ultimate vision that all kids harbor. However, as a parent, while you want to give in to the whim of your children, the distant thought of hurting or damaging the tree in the process of building the treehouse might also weigh on your mind. 

Since trees are living organisms and play a major role in maintaining the ecological balance of a given area, everyone must gauge the adverse effects on trees before building a treehouse. From mapping a proper plan to choosing the right tree, a lot needs to be considered before building a charming hideout for your family. This article presents a comprehensive guide on how you can make a strong and sturdy treehouse without hurting the tree.

Have a Good Plan of the Treehouse

Just like building a brick-and-mortar home, you have to lay your treehouse plan right in front of you before setting out to build it. This will give you an idea of the space your treehouse might take, which would help you pick the right tree for the house. Building the house on a tree that is not big enough to bear the weight of your treehouse might just end up damaging a healthy tree. And that’s something no one wants. 

If you are unsure if the plan you chalked out is practical enough to materialize, contacting a certified arborist might be of immense help. From being guided on the tree structure that needs to be used to knowing the various local regulations that your treehouse must abide by, a professional arborist might help you in numerous ways to make your dream treehouse a reality.

Pick the Right Tree

Picking the right tree for your treehouse will not just ensure the safety of the tree but also of the overall treehouse structure, which the tree will support. While both coniferous and deciduous trees are suited to support a treehouse, there are a few other things that must be noted while picking the right tree – 

  • Look Out for Infections

Your favorite tree in the garden might not be the one best suited to support a treehouse. Hence, while picking up a tree for your treehouse, inspect a few large and sturdy trees for infections and damages. Keep an eye on any damage caused by termites, bacteria, or fungi, and choose a tree that passes all the tests. In this way, you can ensure minimal damage to the tree while erecting your treehouse.

  • Check the Size and Experience of the Tree

Trees generally tend to narrow up in size as it reaches the peak. Hence, you might want to check the size of the tree – not only from the stump area but also from above to ascertain if it can sustain an entire treehouse. A professional arborist might help you in this case. 

The experience of the tree also matters. If a tree has withstood snowfalls, storms, and different weather conditions with ease, know that it is sturdy enough to support a wooden structure for your family to spend some quality time in. If a tree is strong, you could decorate your treehouse with lights and have a ball there without jeopardizing anyone’s safety.

  • Don’t Harm the Bark of the Tree

A tree’s bark is akin to human beings’ skin that protects the inner network of organs and muscles from coming in contact with the outer environment. In the case of trees, the bark is not only responsible for protecting the inner tissues from getting infected by microbes but also protecting the xylem and phloem tissues that are responsible for carrying water and nutrients from the roots to the various parts of the tree. Once you remove or damage the bark of a tree, chances of getting the tree infected with fungi and bacteria are seemingly higher. 

As a result, you might not want to cut out or cut deep inside the bark of the tree while constructing your treehouse.

  • Keep Away from Its Roots

Harming the roots of a tree is one of the surest ways to damage the entire tree – no matter how big or small it is. Hence, do not choose a tree that is too short to build your treehouse on. In this way, you might end up damaging the roots and weakening the overall structure of an otherwise healthy tree.

Building a treehouse is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that promises to bring a smile to the faces of the kids and the entire family. Hence, make sure you take all the precautions and contact the right professionals before completing the task.

However, the job isn’t over with the building of the treehouse. You have to periodically clean the space around the tree with forestry axes to ensure safety to the tree from pests and other microbes. Contacting professionals for a thorough survey of the tree on a yearly basis also ensures the longevity of your treehouse and your family’s safety.

About the Author

Bryan Hardin is the Content Director at Sherrill Tree. He actively liaisons with Arborists and is also a passionate hiker. He loves sharing his expertise and insights through informative articles around hiking, tree climbing, their gears and accessories, advanced techniques, and much more. Bryan is a tree hugger and proudly contributes to the growth of an eco-friendly and sustainable environment.

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