Where Should I Hang a Tree Swing?
A soft breeze on your face, the shade of a favorite tree, the sound of children laughing. An old-fashioned tree swing brings back memories of simple pleasures. Many people grew up with one of these backyard playthings.
If you’re thinking of installing a tree swing, safety should be your priority. How can you tell if your tree is sturdy enough to handle the stress of a swing?
Choose the Right Spot for a Tree Swing
A strong branch on a healthy tree is a prerequisite for a swing. If you’ve been caring for a tree and keeping up with annual pruning, you’re off to a good start. Hardwood trees such as oak are ideal. Fruit trees and evergreens are less sturdy. Check with your local extension department if you’re unsure what type of tree you have.
Here’s what to look for when you’re assessing a tree:
Large, high branch: The best branch for a tree swing is one that has an 8-inch diameter. The branch should be high, but not more than about 20 feet up.
Branch health: Only healthy branches will support a swing. A branch that’s dead, diseased, split, or infested with insects is not safe. A branch with any of these conditions is hazardous and should be removed. Inexpensive Tree Care can safely remove branches that are be dangerous.
Branches above the swing: Branches above or around the swing must also be safe. If any branches look cracked, weak or damaged, call us and we’ll take them off.
Sturdy, straight trunk: If your tree has recently started leaning to one side, it may be sick or damaged. We can help you recognize a dangerous tree. Some trees naturally lean. They may be perfectly healthy even if they’re crooked.
Enough room: The swing should be about 3 feet from the tree trunk. You’ll also need plenty of open space in front and in back of the swing.
Away from water: Many rope swings dangle over a river, lake or pond. These are dangerous, particularly for small children. Don’t place a swing on a tree near water.
Somewhere to land: Every child will fall or jump from a swing at some point. Choose a location where leaps and tumbles are cushioned. Grass and dirt may be soft enough, but if not, add soft mulch such as wood chips.
Find more tips for placing outdoor play equipment by reading the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guides to playground safety.
Once you determine you have a good tree in a safe spot, you’re ready to hang your swing. You can buy a ready-to-hang swing, or you can build your own swing.
Experts in Portland Tree Pruning
If your tree needs inspection or pruning before it’s ready for a swing, give us a call to schedule a free estimate!