A Tree Swing Can Offer Hours of Fun and Recreation.
Are you thinking about installing a tree swing in your yard for your children or grandchildren to play on? That’s great!
When installing a swing to a tree, it is important to consider a few things to make sure the swing will not only be fun, but safe for the children and healthy for your tree.
Three-Point Checklist When Considering a Tree for a Swing
- A mature hardwood tree, such as an oak, sycamore or maple is the best option for a tree swing. And with the abundance of these varieties of trees in north Metro Atlanta, it is very possible you have one growing in your yard. You should not use the more fragile trees varieties like evergreen, ash, birch, or willow for a tree swing.
- Make sure that the limb that you plan to attach the swing to has ample girth. 8 inches in diameter or approximately 25 inches around (the circumference) is a good rule of thumb for your limb.
- You want to insure you tree is healthy. Look for signs that may signal otherwise (diseased or dead limbs, decayed bark, splits in the trunk of the tree, etc.).
If you have detected a tree in your yard that is in poor health, contact Northside Tree Professional’s arborist at (770) 394-0905 for a second opinion.
Can a Tree Swing Damage My Tree?
There are some things that you can do to help protect the health of your tree that you want to use for a tree swing.
Rope Attachment: If you plan to fasten a rope around the limb for your tree swing, slide a piece of rubber tubing to the top of the rope to provide a barrier between the rope and the tree. If you don’t take this step, the rope can begin to cut into the limb as the swing is used, eventually chewing through the bark and making the tree vulnerable to disease or insects. Note: Use a dependable material for your rope like braided nylon, polyester, o manila or. Your rope should be at least ¾ inches in diameter.
(Note: Use a dependable material for your rope like braided nylon, polyester, o manila or. Your rope should be at least ¾ inches in diameter.)
Metal Attachment: If you want to use a metal bolt for your tree swing, you can drill through the limb and use eye bolts to hang the rope. This will eliminate friction on the bark, but it will result in some injury to the tree. Start by drilling a vertical hole through the middle of the limb, and inserting a 1/2” diameter or larger, corrosion-resistant eye bolt. Make sure to secure the bolt to the tree by using washers and nuts. The tree will ultimately grow around the bolts, making them a permanent part of the tree.
(Note: To increase the life of your rope, tie the rope up to the carabiner and, then, hook up a carabiner to the eye bolt.)
Time for Fun – Four Tips for Hanging a Tree Swing Safely
- To avoid hitting the tree while swinging, allow for at least 3 feet of space between the tree swing and the tree trunk. (If there are other smaller trees or tree limbs nearby that that need to be trimmed or removed to make swinging possible, contact Northside Tree Professionals).
- The swing ideally should be about two feet from the ground.
- Where possible, install the tree swing above areas full of grass and void of exposed tree roots.
- Make a routine of checking the rope for wear and replace it when it shows signs of fraying. Also, as the tree limb with the swing grows larger, to avoid girdling, replace the rope.