The Best Types of Trees for a Treehouse


Tree houses are play structures that are often a welcome respite for kids and often adults, too. To ensure the house is fully enjoyed, for safety and play, it must be constructed on the proper foundation. While there are many types of trees to build a tree house, the common and most important factor is that the specimen be structurally sound.

Hard Wood

  • Pinus Strobus "WhitePine" is a fast-growing, hardy, pine tree. It grows 50 to 80 feet high and spreads 20 to 40 feet. The tree grows in best suites for zones 3 through 8 and tolerates a range of soil conditions from well-drained, moist soil to dry, acidic soil. The seeds are a popular source of food for a range of wildlife, a factor to consider if building a tree house in a rural setting. Other hardwoods to consider are tropical hardwoods like Mahogany and Acacia, which are among the strongest hardwood trees grown.

Soft Wood

  • In spite of its soft wood, Betula papyrifera "White birch", widely known for its peeling white bark is a good candidate for a short-term tree house, when constructed on a cluster of the trees. Tree houses built on white birch are best kept on a small scale.

Factors for Selecting a Specimen

  • Consider the following factors before choosing a tree to build a tree house, the age of the tree, its growth rate and resistance to pests, size, age and the compression strength of wood. The strength of the wood determines how much weight a tree can hold and how well the bolt attachments secure to the tree. The bolts are the foundation of support for a tree house. Keep in mind that a tree's environmental conditions, such as drought, also impact its age and strength.

Tree Health

  • Learn as much about the specimen of tree, including its health, as it will directly impact construction and how long the product will last. Some physical indicators to health problems include discoloration of leaves, pest damage, frost cracks, hollow trunks and die back from the tree crown.

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