How to choose the perfect tree for your dream treehouse

Stef Zisovska

Living in a treehouse is every kid’s dream. Well, ok, some adults also think that living in a treehouse would be a dream come true. Treehouses are charming, magical, and on many occasions, they are not small at all. There are treehouses that are big with several spacious rooms. They can be made out of different materials, in absolutely crazy designs and for various purposes. Some people build treehouses just as a vacation spot while others spend their everyday lives in the trees, just like the squirrels do.

If you are a treehouse fan and were wondering how to construct one and how to choose the perfect tree, here are some useful tips that will make your dream project easier.

Healthy trees

A healthy tree
A healthy tree

The presence of any disease or an injury in the tree that you want to use as your home does not necessarily disqualify it, but it’s important to treat it before you start building the house. However, you may have serious problems later on or even suffer the destruction of your treehouse. Don’t forget that trees are alive and they have a limited amount of energy that they can use for structure and defense. If you choose a sick tree that’s already weak, the last thing you should do is to add the weight of a treehouse on top of it. When choosing a tree, consider its age, the environment, and its condition.

Hardwood trees

Oak tree
Oak tree

You don’t want your treehouse to fall down soon after the construction because your favorite tree is too soft and it bends under the weight of the house. Therefore, choose a tree such as oak, hickory, walnut, or cherry that can support more than something like a pine, spruce, yellow poplar, cedar, or redwood. You can still build a treehouse on white pine, but you must choose the right treehouse fasteners or perhaps design a lighter weight tree home.

Environmental impact

Your dream treehouse will cause a few environmental changes to your tree, and you should be aware of this. Make sure you control the foot traffic around your home because it can compact soil and you don’t want that to happen. What you should do is make fewer paths, with barriers if necessary. That way your guests won’t walk all over the place and impact the soil.

Peeling the bark, carving initials, smacking the tree with sticks are activities that you should really avoid. Don’t forget that the roots of the trees spread out way more than the tree’s branches, so don’t do any digging activities around your tree. If planning on having a garden, dig further!

Your favorite tree

Your favorite tree
Your favorite tree

Some arborists advise that you should never build a treehouse in your favorite tree, but build it on the next tree and have a view of the specimen you adore. No matter how careful we are when building a treehouse, it’s a fact that we damage and stress the tree to some degree in the process. So, think about whether you want to hurt your favorite tree, or just make your home in its neighbor.


Professional arborist’s evaluation

Consulting a professional is always a good idea, no matter if you already know a lot about treehouse construction. If you have no idea how and where to do it, but if you want to learn, then ask an arborist for help. It’s better to spend a couple of bucks more beforehand on getting your tree evaluated than to build a house on a rotten tree that will fall down after a while. Treehouses are awesome, and we love them. If you share the same dream, then hopefully you will find these tips more than useful. Make your dream come true and good luck!

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival