Many of us have happy memories swinging from the old tire swing that our grandpa hung up on the old oak in the backyard.
Now you want to hang up a tree swing for yourself and your family so you can enjoy nice days outside. All you need is a rope, a seat, and a tree, right?
Before you begin to hang a swing from a tree, be it a tire swing, seat swing, or loveseat, you will need to take precautions to ensure the safety of users and the tree.
Get The Tree Inspected
A tree inspection will check for pests, disease, and other issues that could prevent a safety hazard and help you take steps to remedy them. This is especially important if you have ash trees in your yard which are at risk of Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that can devastate the tree if not caught early.
If you want to hang a swing from a specific tree, ask your attending arborist if it is safe to do so and they will be more than happy to advise you.
Find The Right Branch
You will want to find a branch that is strong and far enough away from the trunk of the tree so the swing does not hit and damage it.
The best trees to use are hardwoods that are well-established, like oaks. Avoid trees with weaker wood such as evergreens. These branches can easily break under the stress of a swing.
Avoid Wrapping Rope Or Chain Around The Branch
To avoid damage to your tree branch, you should avoid wrapping rope or chain around the branch. When you do this and swing, the wood becomes grooved with damage that cannot heal. This will weaken the branch over time, creating a safety hazard.
Instead, install a tree branch strap that fits over the tree and attaches to the chain or rope. There are many kits available that will allow you to safely hang and use a swing without damaging the tree. Just be sure to check the swing and the tree branch regularly to ensure that all is well.