If you grew up with a treehouse in the backyard, you’re one of the lucky ones. Yours was probably the house that everyone in the neighborhood wanted to visit, because it feels like there’s nothing more magical than a treehouse. Now, it’s time to pass on that legacy of excitement, imagination, and determination to your children.
Now that you’ve begun thinking about just how perfect that huge tree in your yard would be for a treehouse, it’s time to plan. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as “have a tree, build house in it.” There are several steps you’ll need to take before you begin actually building your treehouse. Whether you need a tree expert’s second opinion or tree trimming service, Whatcom Tree Service can help!
Picking the Right Tree
You’ll be building a stationary structure on a living, growing thing, so a bit of planning is necessary. Step one to planning your treehouse venture is to be sure you’ve picked the right tree. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter as much whether your tree is coniferous (think pine or evergreen) or deciduous (loses its leaves every fall). What matters most is the size and strength of your tree.
How Can You Tell?
Be sure to check the following characteristics before building:
- Does your tree have more than one or two dead branches? If so, it may have internal issues and not be able to support any external weight
- Does it have a solid root structure? This is where the tree gets a good portion of its strength. Without strong roots, a treehouse may cause your tree to topple.
- Is there liquid oozing from the bark or are there large swaths of discolored leaves? These are additional signs of internal issues within the tree.
If your tree has any of the above issues, be sure to contact your local Bellingham tree service to have your tree inspected before building on it. You don’t want the tree to come down on your house!
Why Health Matters
In addition to the question of stability, as we mentioned above, a healthy tree is necessary for a long-lived treehouse. If you’re putting lots of effort into this project, it would be awful to have it come falling down in only a year or two! The good news is that trees will actually grow up and create additional support for a properly built treehouse. A healthy tree will view the attached structure like additional branches and begin to grow to support the treehouse the same way it would its own branches.
Don’t Build Too High
As you’re planning your treehouse design, think of the tree growing inside it. Building too high up on the tree can cause issues with weight and balance and cause harm to the tree. It may not be quite as exciting, but building lower on your tree means the treehouse and tree will both be more stable. The stability extends to weather as well; treehouses lower to the ground will sway more easily with the tree and withstand wind easier than a treehouse further up. As an added bonus, building your treehouse lower to the ground will minimize accidents if your kids get too wild.
As you can see, careful planning is necessary before you begin building a treehouse around that big beautiful oak in your yard. Call the tree experts at Whatcom Tree Service to check the health of your tree – be prepared for potential health issues so you can be sure of the stability of both the tree and treehouse. For tree trimming and inspections, call Whatcom Tree Service in Bellingham today!