Summer is here!

That means children are out of school and ready to play. What better way to bring joy to your children than a hand-crafted tree swing?

Turn your landscape into a playground where kids can run freely, swing high into the trees and enjoy summer’s warm and playful spirit.

Selecting the Best Tree For Your New Tree Swing

Take it from the scientists at the Davey Institute—the first and most important step in installing a tree swing is choosing the right tree.

There are two critical characteristics you should look for when you’re picking a tree.

First up, the tree’s maturity. Scoping your landscape for an older, well-established tree that is sturdy and strong. A newly planted tree won't be able to withstand the swing’s weight, affecting its growth and health for years to come.

And second, the tree’s structure. In order to attach a tree swing successfully, you need horizontal branches with a strong u-shaped union that can endure the weight of the swing. Be careful to not attach the rope too tight around your branch so that it does not cut off the branch's vascular system!

Now without further ado, let’s jump into the tips and tricks for tire, wooden and seat tree swings.

Hanging a Tire Tree Swing (Tips & Tricks)

There’s nothing like free-flying on a tire swing. For the best set up, follow these tips:

  • Hang your tire swing from a sturdy hardwood tree, like an oak or maple.
  • Drill a couple of holes through the bottom of the tire. That way, it won’t get filled up with rainwater.
  • Keep the tire at least six feet away from the trunk for safe swinging.

Hanging a Wooden Tree Swing (Tips & Tricks)

Pull out a plank of wood to make a DIY swing set right in your backyard. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Just like a tire swing, a wooden tree swing should hang from a strong, hardwood tree. Maple and oak are great options, as well as hornbeam and sycamore.
  • Opt for a plank of cedar or redwood for the swing’s seat. Round and sand out the edges so your swingers don’t get pricked with a splinter.
  • Cut the wood down to size. Typically, wooden tree swing seats are anywhere between 15 and 25 inches long.
  • Once the seat’s all set, use a level to make sure it’s even.

Hanging a Seat Tree Swing (Tips & Tricks)

For seated tree swings, follow the same tips above for other swing types. And with any swing, take care to avoid injuring your tree when you hang it up.

Here’s how to hang a tree swing without damaging your tree.

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