Do you remember as a kid getting on a swing and just casually swinging back and forth thinking about nothing and everything at the same time? You probably tried to swing as high as you possibly could to get to the moon or wrap the swing around the branch. Backyard swing sets can be kind of expensive and can take up a lot of space. If you have a sturdy tree, you already have the perfect structure for a swing! The biggest concern is if the swing will damage the tree at all. It could if the precautions aren’t taken first. If you take the time to do your research and get the right materials, your swing will be the perfect addition to your home for years to come! Here’s what you need to know:
● Get an Inspection: A tree could look strong with a thick trunk and branches all over it, but looks can be deceiving. Unless you’ve been closely studying the tree, it’s very easy to miss health issues the tree might have. Get the tree inspected by a certified arborist. They’ll be able to determine the health of your tree and if it can handle the weight of a swing. The arborist can help you determine what needs to be done to fix that if your tree is sick or needs attention. The inspection is an important part of the process to avoid injuries later on.
● Find the Perfect Branch: The swing can’t be on just any branch. Most branches aren’t strong enough to handle long term exposure to the swinging motion or the weight of even a small child. You have to find a strong enough brand to handle the stress and weight distribution of a swing in motion. The branch also needs to be far enough away from the tree, so there’s very little chance of hitting the trunk as you’re swinging.
● Get the Right Protection: Don’t just throw a couple of ropes or chains around the branch to attach the swing. You will strip away any bark from the branch exposing the wood underneath to rub damage from the swing. Instead, get a tree branch strand that will fit over the branch and attach it to the rope or chain. This extra strap will give you the protection your tree needs to have an excellent swinging experience!