Hanging a swing between two trees is not that difficult if you have the right equipment. There are several different configurations you can use. The configuration you use will largely depend on the type of swing you are hanging and the way you will attach to the trees.
The following configurations are available to use and will be explained in detail below:
- Straps with D-rings
- Beam between two trees
- Trunk to trunk
I will also give details on how to hang different types of swings between two trees:
- Tire swing
- Rope swing
- Porch swing
- Saucer swing
- Baby swing
The type of trees doesn’t matter except that the trees have to be of a type that can support a swing. Since all of the methods described require the trunk to be used as the support, you may be able to use some trees that wouldn’t normally be good options for a tree swing.
The pine tree is one such tree. You wouldn’t normally hang a swing from a pine branch, but you can hang a swing between two pine trees.
Before you get started hanging your swing between your two trees, you need take a few steps to ensure your tree can support a swing. There are three things you need to look at to confirm the tree is a good fit; tree size, health, and location.
Your trees have to be large enough and old enough to hang a swing. Trees that are too small will not be able to support the weight and stress a swing places on them. In addition, trees that are young have not built up enough strength for a swing. Young trees will bend when a large load is placed on them.
If you are going to use one of the methods that require you to attach your swing to a branch, the branch should be at least 8” in diameter.
Inspect your trees for overall good health. The tree should look strong and healthy. There shouldn’t be any dry rotting on any parts of the tree. Look for fungus and bacterial growths. Signs of fungus or bacteria usually indicate the tree is having some health issues.
Also, look for signs of bug destruction. If termites, ants, or other bugs have infested the tree, there may be weak spots that could make your swing dangerous.
Your trees needs to be located in a safe spot. They should be far away from power lines. They also should allow a rider to not pass over or come into contact with any buildings, fences, trees, or other obstructions when swinging.
They also need to provide a safe place for your riders to land when dismounting or if they fall off the swing. All debris and brush should be removed around the trees.
In some cases you may be able to use more then one of these configurations. You will need to determine your needs and desired outcome when choosing.
Straps with D-rings
A fast and easy way to setup a swing between two trees is to use a combination of swing straps, D-rings, and carabiner hooks. You need two long straps with D rings on each end, carabiners, and optional shorter straps.
There are two different setups you can do when using Straps. Both require you to wrap the long straps around the tree and pass the strap through a D-ring on one end. Then you can either attach the other two ends from each strap together with a carabiner or use another strap between the two straps.
When using a third strap between the two straps, you attach each end of the long straps to a carabiner and then attach one end of the third strap to one carabiner, joining it to one of the long straps wrapped around a tree, and attach the other end to the other carabiner, attaching it to the other long strap.
The configuration that attaches the two straps together with one carabiner will give you only one attachment point for your swing. This configuration is good for single rope swings and tire swings.
The configuration that has a strap in between the two long straps provides two connection points. This configuration is good for saucer swings, porch swings, web swings, and any swing that needs multiply connection points.
Beam between two trees
Attaching a beam between two trees is a more permanent solution. It provides you with a sturdy place to hang your swing. It can, however, be more invasive. It may require you to attach brackets to your tree to hold the beam.
Brackets will be necessary if you don’t have any branches you can place your beam over. If you have branches that are strong enough and in the right place on the tree, you can put the beam into the branch crouch and tie it down. This method is the least likely to damage your tree.
In most cases, you won’t have two branches in the right position to put your beam on top of them. Instead, you will need to attach your beam to the tree with joist beam brackets. Your beam needs to be very sturdy. You should use a 4×4, 2×6, 6×6, or two 2×6’s together.
The length between your two trees and the load you will put on the swing will determine the size of the beam you use. If the length is more then 10 feet, you should add extra support to the beam. This can be done by building an A-frame that attaches to the beam.
Trunk to trunk with rope
You don’t have to use any fancy apparatus if you have good trees. You can just use rope. The trees have to be in a good location. The trees also shouldn’t be very far apart.
Attaching trunk to trunk just means securing a rope to each tree and then attaching the two ropes together. It is like the straps with D-ring configuration, but you only need ropes to accomplish it.
To setup a trunk to trunk configuration you will need two or three ropes. If you don’t want to use carabiners, you can use one long rope to attach between both trees.
One long rope with alpine butterfly knot
To use one long rope between the two tree, you should start by wrapping one end of the rope around one of the trees at the height you want the rope to be. It is best if you can make the rope pass over and sit on a branch crouch (place where the branch attaches to the tree). Then tie a bowline knot on the shorter end, pass the other end through the knot loop, and pull the rope tight around the tree.
Next, wrap the other end of the rope around the other tree. You should also try to put the rope over a branch crouch to keep it from slipping down. Pull the rope taut and tie a bowline knot and snug it against the tree.
After the rope is attached to both trees, tie an alpine butterfly knot in the middle. This is where you will attach your rope for your swing. If you need two anchor points, you can tie two alpine butterfly knots.
The alpine butterfly knot weakens the rope slightly. You should consider it to be at only 70% of its rated load capacity.
Two ropes with a carabiner
If you want to use two ropes, start by wrapping one rope around one tree over a branch crouch. Tie a bowline knot on one end and pass the other end of the rope through the loop. Pull it snug against the tree. Repeat the same steps with the other rope and tree.
Once both trees have a rope attached you can tie a bowline knot on the ends of each rope and hook them together with a carabiner. You can then attach your swings rope to the carabiner.
To create two attachment points, make your two ropes shorter. Put a carabiner on the end of each rope. Then attach another piece of rope between the two carabiners.
Hang a tire swing between two trees
A tire swing can be hung between two trees. A tire swing only needs one attachment point. The easiest way to attach a tire swing between two trees is to use the trunk to trunk rope configuration with the alpine butterfly knot or carabiner.
The sturdiest way to hang a tire swing between two trees is to use a beam mounted with brackets to both trees.
Hang a porch swing between two trees
A porch swing needs two connection points. You could use any of the hanging configurations that provide two attachment points to hang a porch swing between two trees. The best configuration for hanging a porch swing between two trees is the beam mounted between the trees.
A porch swing needs a very strong and sturdy place to hang. The other configurations will hold the weight of the swing, but the porch swing will move all over the place when not hung from a beam.
Hang a rope swing between two trees
You have several options for hanging a rope swing between two trees. If you want to make it a true rope swing and only want to use rope, you should use the trunk to trunk configuration. You can tie an alpine butterfly knot in the middle and then connect your rope swing to it. This will allow you to setup a rope swing anywhere with only rope.
You can also use straps or a beam to hang your rope swing. If you plan to setup a rope swing while traveling, it may be difficult to bring a beam with you.
Hanging a saucer, platform, or web swing between two trees
Saucer, platform, and web swings all need two attachment points. Any of the tree configurations will work. If you want a ride that has a lot of motion in many directions, the trees swing straps or rope mounted from tree to tree will be your best one to choose.
Hang a baby swing between two trees
You want to be careful no matter what type of swing you are hanging between two trees, but you need to be extra careful when you are hanging a baby swing. The safest way to hang a baby swing is to hang it from a beam.
A beam will provide good support for your baby swing. It will also make the ride less volatile.
Almost any kind of swing can be hung between two trees. Find the right trees in the right location. Make sure they are health and strong. Choose which configuration will work best for the type of swing you want to hang. Remember that safety should always come first.