Did you ever have a treehouse as a kid? If so, then you had the freedom to immerse yourself in a completely different world. Maybe you remember the summer days in your treehouse, playing cards, reading books, and watching clouds. Recently, though, your child asked what it would take to build a treehouse. So you think to yourself, “Is it even possible?” The short answer is yes. The right tools coupled with a can-do attitude is all you need to build the treehouse of your child’s dreams. Here are some tips to consider when constructing one for the first time:
- Consider the site – Not every tree is ideal for such a structure. We recommend choosing a healthy, long-lived hardwood. This helps ensure maximum support. So which trees are best? Well, the safe bets include maple, oak, fir, beech, and hemlock. One more tip here: there’s no need to build a treehouse very high. Frankly, it just needs to be high enough so nobody bumps their head when walking underneath it.
- Take weight and stability into account – Now that you know where the treehouse will sit, what’s the next step? Build the platform as close to the trunk as possible and be sure to add diagonal bracing for extra strength to support any uneven loads. If you notice that the treehouse will be heavy, think about spreading the weight among several trees.There’s also the issue of accounting for wind. Being in the Windy City, make it a priority to build your treehouse in the lower third of the tree.
- Avoid restricting tree growth – The last thing you want to do is constrict branches with ropes, straps, or wires. Remember that your tree is a living creature that needs room for movement. Keep it happy and healthy by adding spacers between the beams.
- Level the floor – Want to make the project as easy as possible? Do yourself a favor and ensure that the floor is level and can support the entire weight of the treehouse. Pro tip: center the load of the structure over the trunk and spread the weight among several branches.
- Stay within regulations – Your neighborhood covenant may prevent you from building a treehouse. Even if you don’t live in such a community, you will likely still need a building permit from the city. Of course, be courteous to your neighbors and keep them in the loop about your project. Steer clear of boundary lines and avoid encroaching on a neighbor’s privacy.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE TREE SERVICE
Before you get started building a treehouse, take a long look at your tree. Are there any significantly dead, damaged, or diseased branches? Is it coming close to nearby properties or utility lines? Then you may want to invest in professional tree trimming and/or tree pruning. At Pro Tree Service, we are licensed, bonded, and insured to perform such services. You can count on our experienced team to get the job done right the first time and answer any questions you may have.