Here is a guide on how to build a treehouse without damaging the tree.
A treehouse can be a perfect spot for relaxing the mind and reconnecting with Mother Nature high up in the sky.
Most people use it to escape from the daily realities of bustle and hustle. Some see it as a rest house to retired a tired mind. Others don’t mind living in treehouses full-time.
Building A TreeHouse Without Hurting The Tree
Whatever reason you have for building a treehouse, ensure you don’t hurt the tree in the process. Trees just like the human body are made up of delicate and sensitive tissue.
A badly injured tree cannot survive for long and so it is for your structure.
If you want to build a treehouse without hurting the tree, there are guidelines ruled out for you. If you follow these instructions, you are sure to lift a structure into the air without hurting your tree.
For those looking at not using trees, here is a guide on constructing a treeless treehouse.
Guidelines For Safe Treehouse Construction
It is impossible not to hurt a tree in the process of building yourself a treehouse, however, you can minimize the extent of damages.
Follow these guidelines for safe construction.
Have A Plan Of What to Build
Building a treehouse is just all about building a treehouse.
Before erecting the structure, ensure you have a design or picture of what you want it to look like. You can imagine what size or shape you want it to have. If you can generate an image of it in your head, then it can be built.
Although building a fine treehouse is another issue, a well-built treehouse is one is that is well thought out.
Before you rush into building any structure on a tree, ruminate doing the following;
- Contact an Arborist: an Arborist is a tree expert. He/she can tell exactly the class and characteristics of the tree you intend to use. He/she can tell whether the tree is sturdy, healthy, and can last for some time.
- Know the Codes: know the codes and regulations of local buildings to avoid making bad plans
- Draft out Your Plans: a building proposal ensures that things go well during construction. It helps in minimizing errors while building.
Know the Right Type of Tree to Use
It is important to know the right type of tree to use in building your treehouse. This is because it determines the size and limit of the treehouse.
Category of Trees
Trees are categorized into two; coniferous and deciduous trees. A coniferous tree is known to grow all through the year with leaves and needles. Its wood is soft and breaks easily
While a deciduous tree grows slowly and mostly during spring and summertime. It drops its leaves during fall and regrows them in spring. The slow growth rate of the tree makes its wood denser, and more durable.
From the above explanation, a coniferous tree is the best tree you can use to build a treehouse.
Other things to be considered include; size, age, and experience of the tree.
Know The Signs of Infection in the Tree
Trees behave the same way as other living things. They can get infected and die.
Most of the infections are caused by bacteria and fungi. It can terminate a tree’s life without warning, whereas others are slower and might take years to stretch the tree out.
Erecting a structure in a sick tree is risky to you and harms the tree the more. Signs of an infected tree include; many broken branches, tilting, fungal growth, no bark and, dripping sap.
Allow the Tree More Space to Grow and Move Freely
Trees require more sunlight during the early period of their lives.
So, they always want to grow tall to access the sunlight. As the tree blossoms into maturity, it stops growing up and starts growing out.
Ensure your treehouse is bolted right in the center of the tree’s trunk known as the heartwood. It is the base of the tree’s strength.
You’ll realize that as the tree grows, it starts to grow around the treehouse’s support.
Protect The Tree’s bark
Just as the skin is important to a human’s body, so is the bark of a tree. It serves as the barricade that protects the insides of a tree from the outside. A tree with damaged bark has a high risk of getting infected
Ensure you completely avoid cutting into or cutting out fragments of the tree. Beneath the bark lies xylem and phloem tissues. These tissues are responsible for transporting water, minerals and, sugars between the tree’s roots and leaves.
Whenever a segment is cut out from the tree, a great portion of the tissues goes out with it. The more tissues are damaged, the more the tree is damaged. Its capacity to survive is reduced.
For instance, when you drill a hole in a tree, use pruning paint to seal off the injury.
Do the same when you drill through the tree’s trunk. This will help to prevent poisonous external elements from entering the tree’s inner layer.
Stay Away From the Roots
Try as much as possible to stay away from the tree’s roots. Because one of the surest ways of hurting a tree is to damage its roots. Bear it in mind when making plans to build a treehouse.
There are two easy ways to damage a tree’s root;
- Walking repetitively on the tree or heavy use of machinery. These can lead to soil compaction. This reduces or cuts off the root’s access to basic nutrients, water, and oxygen.
- Avoid adding or removing soil around the tree. When you do that, the tree’s roots no longer have good depth.
To lessen the level of damage; do the following:
- Limit the rate at which you walk over the tree’s root area.
- Keep your working tools away from the tree’s trunk.
- Limit your usage of heavy machinery around the tree; or better still don’t use it at all
Use Special Tree Attachment Bolts (TABs)
A tree is known to heal itself after injury through compartmentalization.
That is possible if the level of damage is slight. For instance, a tree can swiftly seal off the damage done by a single inserted into its trunk. But, it can’t when they are many or placed too near together.
A tree becomes an easy target for bacteria, fungal, and virus infections if it doesn’t succeed in compartmentalization.
Avoid the use of screws and nails, which may create many holes in your tree. You can rather use Tree Attachment Bolts (TABs). TABs are special hardware made for trees.
Other Ways to Avoid Hurting A Tree while Building A Treehouse
- Ensure to spread out the weight of the treehouse. Don’t focus the treehouse’s weight on one site alone. Distribute it evenly to cover more areas
- Ensure the treehouse is as light as anything. More weight means the tree will find it difficult to support the treehouse.
- Ensure the treehouse doesn’t go beyond 10 feet from the ground.
- Ensure you use a professional plan to build your treehouse
- Always check the tree to ensure it stays healthy.
- How To Build A Treehouse Without A Tree
- Living In A Treehouse: Pros, Cons, Construction And Legal Requirements
- How To Drill Into A Tree Without Hurting It [Nails, Screws & TABs]
- Best Trees For Constructing Treehouses: 4 Popular Species