Photo: Hugh Lofting Timber Framing
Have you ever dreamt of having a place where you could just hear the birds chirp and feel the wind? Of a quiet romantic place that would elevate you from the daily stress? Or would you like to offer your children a fascinating playground that would stir their imagination and adventurous spirit, making them quit watching TV or playing on the computer? Or maybe you want to impress your friends with a truly special area dedicated to entertainment.
You can have all these in your garden! Unleash your imagination and create a world that would fit in a tree!
Photo: Missy Brown Design
It's not necessary to build something like the construction in the park of Alnick Castle in Great Britain. It can host 300 people, tallying over 500,000 visitors per year! Considered one of the biggest construction suspended in trees, the investment cost 7 million dollars!
Photo: Ed O'Keeffe
A charming place can be made by spending a lot less than that!
Photo: Blue Forest/Barcroft Media
Let's first analyse the structure of a tree from a technical point of view. It can be seen as a vertical column (the main tree trunk) from which many horizontal and vertical beams or beams of other angles (the branches) are fixed in a console; the entire structure is transferred towards the foundation (the roots).
A healthy tree has the abovementioned components organically developed, depending on each other. For example, an asymmetrically developed treetop that grows southwards will determine roots to develop rather northwards in order to balance the weight of the tree.
As a consequence, a heavy load on the treetop cannot be sustained by its trunk and roots. Moreover, this load will have to be distributed on to the branches as to balance gravity of the ensemble on the main trunk.
An often used solution is the placement of supporting pillars that would add stability and safety to the whole construction. You can also opt for using neighbouring trees to distribute the load of a bigger house.
Choosing the right tree is the most important decision. The height and width, the shape of the trunk and branches, the species and steadiness, as well as the location and view are the factors that will determine, if a tree is right to be built on.
The higher the construction, the greater sense of freedom will be, due to the wider view. It's also good to be practical and reduce the risks that increase with height, especially if you intend on building a kids' playground!
Take into account the force of the wind upon the tree which increases with height!
Choosing the branches for support
The branches have to be sturdy enough to sustain the entire load. Try to find a branch for each corner of the house. Create a frame between these support points.
Photo: Alex Amend
It would be best to choose a tree with hardwood and a thick treetop, such as beech, maple, or walnut, the last being more prevalent near our houses.
Photo: Free Spirit Spheres
Before you start building, think of the possible troubles that the house might cause.
Photo: Benedict August
Let's change the perspective and after seeing so many houses built in trees, let us take a look at something even more spectacular: the house is no longer in the tree, but the tree is in the middle of the house!!
Photo: A. Masow Design Studio
If we have managed to challenge you to build a tree house, we wish you good luck and we look forward to seeing pictures of your accomplishment on our official Facebook page.