Safety is a top priority in all of the projects we take on at Gaston’s Tree Service. When starting a treehouse building project, the most important step is choosing the right tree. Any house, treehouse or not, is only as good as its foundation!
This article serves to provide a few characteristics to look for when deciding which tree to build a treehouse in. From our family to yours, we want to help keep your kids safe while they have fun practicing curiosity and exploring outdoors.
Type of Tree
Deciduous trees make great treehouse supports. They are comprised of strong, dense wood and tend to grow slowly. We’ve detailed a few of our favorites. Other trees, such as Douglas fir, sycamores, and hemlock trees also make great treehouse bases.
Oak trees are known for their strength and endurance. There is a high level of tannic acid in this species’ leaves and bark, lessening the risk of fungal growth and insect infestation. Their thick bark also helps protect against fire, fight disease, and support weighty attachments.
If you have a promising oak tree in your yard, keep an eye out for anthracnose. This is an infection that presents itself as brown blotches on tree bark and, if left untreated, can disqualify your tree from being a sufficient source of support.
Suburban-grown maple trees can grow up to 20 to 30 feet tall. Because of its great height, it is best practice to choose a “y-shaped branch” in the bottom third of this tree type to build your treehouse on. The density of maple wood allows you to create a larger treehouse if desired.
Look for wilting, also known as flagging, branches after periods of hot, dry weather. This is a symptom of Verticillium wilt, a common maple disease. The treatment for this disease is pruning symptomatic limbs. If this issue arises, contact a certified arborist to ensure the integrity of your beloved maple trees.
Size of Tree
The ideal treehouse-supporting tree is a mature tree. Mature trees have deep, established roots, making them more apt to provide long-term support than younger, less established trees. This is especially true during strong winds. Oak trees, for example, have root systems that are almost as deep as their branches are high!
When choosing a tree, look for a balance between a height high enough to give your children an exciting new view of your backyard and low enough to keep them safe. Ten feet above the ground makes a great height for children’s treehouses.
The width of a tree is usually indicative of its age. If you are planning on building a standard eight-by-eight-foot treehouse, we would recommend a tree with a trunk of 12 feet or more in diameter.
Gaston’s Tree Service Keeps Your Family Safe
Time spent in a backyard treehouse is the backdrop of cherished, childhood memories for so many. We would be honored to help your family ensure your children’s play space is a safe place. We’ve been a family-owned and operated tree service business for 50 years — few things excite us more than trimming trees to create spaces for family bonding. To determine if your selected tree is healthy, or, if you conclude you are in need of pruning before building, reach out to the experts at Gaston’s.