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The Best Trees for a Treehouse

For many people, the chance to build a treehouse on their property is the chance to realize a childhood dream. For children growing up, a treehouse is the perfect place to spend the summer, and for adults looking for the next creative project for their home, a treehouse is a great challenge and rewarding experience to build.

If you have decided to build a treehouse, there’s quite a bit you will have to consider first. Often, homeowners rush into building treehouses without any planning. Without putting in the appropriate effort to plan in advance, it’s very possible to damage your tree, put the inhabitants of your home in danger, and even leave yourself in violation of some of your local ordinances.

The Best Trees for a TreehousePlanning and building your treehouse requires a good amount of effort on your part; it begins with selecting the perfect tree. This article will advise you on which trees are the best to use when constructing a treehouse.

What are you looking for?
When choosing a tree for your treehouse, the first thing to consider should always be the safety of your family and guests. There are a number of ways to achieve this; of course, you should make sure you have a detailed plan when it comes to the construction of your treehouse. Choose lightweight materials that won’t put unnecessary stress on the tree; they will also have to be strong as they will be exposed to the elements every day of the year. You will want to have an idea of the size of your treehouse before you select your tree; the size of the tree will affect the ultimate size of the treehouse. If you decide, for example, to go with the standard 8 feet by 8 feet, you will have to find a tree with a trunk 12 feet or more in diameter. This is fairly large for a tree; you’ll also want to find one that’s sturdy and not too young. If the tree is too young, it may be weak and can grow beyond your control. Conversely, if the tree is too old, it can also be a poor choice for building a treehouse. The tree you ultimately settle on should have deep roots, very strong branches, and be resistant to pests, insects, and fungus. If the tree weakens over time, this could very well mean losing your beloved treehouse in the interest of safety.

Species to choose from
As you’re looking for a tree with particular qualities, your options can be somewhat narrow. You’ll most likely want to go with a deciduous tree – these are the trees that lose their leaves in the fall and winter – as they tend to grow more slowly and have a stronger, more dense wood making them up. Oak is an excellent choice, as is maple. Apple, beech, hemlock or cedar can also work very well. All of these are strong trees that grow large and can weather many different climates, which is absolutely essential when constructing a treehouse. You have to consider that you will be putting bolts into the wood to hold your treehouse in place; a strong, dense wood is absolutely necessary when constructing your treehouse for this reason.

Which tree do I pick?
Once you’ve narrowed it down to the species of tree, you’ll want to consider how to choose the best individual tree. Chances are, you have multiple trees on your property and you’re looking to make the best choice when it comes to constructing a treehouse. If you have a favorite tree on your property, don’t pick that one. The process of constructing a treehouse can be hard on the tree and you don’t necessarily want to subject your most treasured tree to that type of risk. You’ll also want to avoid building a treehouse in an area where there is a lot of foot traffic; the more people that are walking around your tree, the more the soil may become compacted, which can be bad for the tree and put the treehouse at risk. Pick a tree that will be somewhat isolated from the hustle and bustle of the average day in your home. Trees that can be damaged by children playing or animals are not good choices to build a treehouse in. Let our tree service arborists help make the perfect choice.

How do I make sure it’s the right one?
Once you’ve selected the tree you like, it’s time to give it a thorough inspection. You will want to check it for signs of fungus, pests, and other problems. Look into what particular pests are known to attack the tree you’ve chosen and check for them. For example, if you’ve settled on an oak to construct your treehouse in, look for signs of anthracnose, which will manifest as brown blotches along the bark of your tree. If your oak tree is suffering from this fungal infection, it may very well not prove strong enough to support a tree house. You’ll also want to look for signs of insect invasions; holes bored into the wood of your tree can be a strong indicator of a pest like termites or carpenter ants, which can also weaken your tree and even invade the materials that make up the treehouse itself.

Getting a professional inspection
Since you want your treehouse to last for a long time, the best thing for you to do is hire a tree service to come in and give your tree a professional inspection. Tree service professionals, also called arborists, are trained to look for any signs of weakness that may put your treehouse project at risk. They can also make recommendations to bring a sick tree back to full health and offer alternative choices if the tree you’ve chosen doesn’t end up working out. A professional tree service can also assist you with planting your own tree if you don’t already have one on your property. They can be brought in periodically to help with maintaining your trees as well. In the Portland area, Mr. Tree is an excellent tree service that can assist you in meeting all of your goals when it comes to the construction of your treehouse.