Hanging a swing from a tall tree can seem difficult. You stand at the base of the tree looming above your head; wondering how in the world you are going to get the rope in your hand over the tree branch 40 feet in the air. Let me give you a little encourangement. It can be done.
How to hang a swing from a tall tree? You can hang your swing from a tall tree by following these four steps.
- Tie a throwball, stone, or other weighted object to a piece of twine, string, or other type of throwline that is twice as long as the distance from the branch to the ground.
- Throw the weighted object over the branch so the throwline goes over the branch.
- Tie your rope to the throwline and pull the opposite end of the throwline until your rope goes over the branch and down to the ground.
- Tie a bowline knot on one end of your rope, slip the other end through it, and pull it until the rope is secure around the branch.
The real obstacle is getting your rope over the tall tree's branch. Once you've gotten your rope over the tree branch, you basically follow the same procedure you would follow when hanging any tree swing.
Tree inspection before you start hanging your tree swing
Before you start the process of throwing a line over a branch, you need to make sure your tree and branch are strong and health. The first step is to visual inspect the tree for any dry rot, fungus, or mold. These are indicators that the tree may be having problems. The problems could be in a localize area or could be in a broad area of the tree. Either way, you should take care of the health issue before hanging a swing.
After visually inspecting the tree, you should check for hollowing and weakening below the surface of the tree. A tree limb can look perfectly good, but be hollow inside. Hanging a tree swing on a hollow limb will bring sure disaster. You can check this by hitting the tree will a soft mallet and listening for a hollow sound. Hitting the tree with a mallet can also help uncover decay under the bark.
Finally, check the tree for bug infestation. Look for trails and holes in the tree where bugs might be entering. If you find any areas that look suspicious, pull off the bark and hit these areas with a mallet to see if bugs have caused structural damage. If there is damage, the tree may not be able to support your swing. This is especially important for a tall tree swing where the integrity of the tree can be compromised in one area, and not be able to support a tree swing because it will snap and fall.
If you are unsure of the health and safety of your tree, contact a professional horticulturist or arborist in your area.
Type of throwing objects
Professional climbers use a throwball. A throwball is a sack that is filled with lead or some other weighting material. It has a ring on the end of it to tie a throwline.
You can also use a fishing sinker. Sinkers have a loop on one end that you can tie your throwline on to.
Other objects you could use include a heavy keychain, small stone, or paper weight. Which ever object you choose to throw, do it safely when throwing it into trees.
Safety when throwing over a branch
Safety should be your top priority when throwing your throwline into a tree. Before throwing, clear the area in front and behind you or any people, animals, or possessions that could get broken. Also, put on a helmet and safety glasses. Remember, when you throw something heavy up, it will come back down and can cause injury or damage.
How to throw a throwline
There are a few techniques for throwing a throwball over a tall tree branch. These techniques vary greatly among arborist, but here are a few of the basic types. You can use a one handed swinging techinque. You can use the two hand technique. There is also a device called Big Shot that works like a sling shot to propel your weight over a branch.
One handed technique
For the one handed technique, you tie your throwball to the end of your throwline. Then you tie a slip knot about two to three feet from the throwball on the throwline. When you are ready to throw into the trees, you hold the slip knot in one hand and swing the rope back and forth for momentum. Then, when you are ready, on a forward motion, you swing your throwing arm all the way up and let go of the throwball in the direction of the tree's branch. Sending it flying over the branch. Be careful of other trees in the area.
Two handed technique
For the two handed technique, you tie your throwball to the end of the throwline. Then you pull one to two feet of the throwline through the ring on the throwball. Using both hands, one hand holding the loop that was pulled through the throwball ring and the other hand holding the throwline about one or two feet away from the throwball, you swing the throwball back and forth between your legs (like a granny throw in bowling). When you are ready, swing your arms up on a forward swing and let go of the throwline.
Big Shot technique
The Big Shot is a sling shot machine that some professional arborist use to launch a throwball over a branch more than 100 feet in the air. If your branch is that high and your can't throw it, you may need to get a Big Shot or call a professional.
For all throw techniques
If your throwline goes into a bushy area of the tree, don't pull the line back through with the throwball attached. Look for where the end of the line with the throwball is hanging. Try to get the throwball to come to the ground or close to the ground so you can detach it. If you pull it back through the bushy area, you may get it tangled and loose your throwball and a portion of your throwline to the tree.
Check out sherrilltree.com to see some a good tutorial with drawings on throwline techinuqes.
And watch this video to see how a professional does it.
How much rope to use in your trees
You need to start with a rope that is twice the distance from the ground to the branch. This is so you can pull the rope all the way over the branch and back down to the ground. Once you have tied your bowline knot and pull the rope secure around the tree branch, you will be able to cut the rope to the length you need for the swing. If you don't want to end up with a short piece of rope, you can leave the rope much longer than double the height and cut it to size.
Also, once you secure the rope to the tree, you will not be able to get it back down without climbing the tree. Don't attempt to climb the tree if you are not experienced. A piece of rope is not worth the risk. If they tree limb is not to high, tree swings rope can sometimes be removed by cutting it with a saw on a long pole. If you can't remove it, cut it as high as you can and let the swing rope hang from the limb. If this is in your backyard, you it will probably be okay. It it is in the front of your house, you may want to hire a professional to cut down the rope swing.
Types of rope to use for a tall tree swing
The best rope to use for a tall rope swing is polyester. It holds up well under hot and cold weather conditions. It has a high UV resistance. It is strong and not as susceptible to fraying as other ropes. Polyester rope also has a high resistance to stretch. It will return to its original size when stretched.
You can also use polypropylene, though it may not last as long as polyester. It has a lower UV resistance than polyester. Harsh sunlight can deteriorate it; even melt it. Extreme cold can make it brittle. It also can fray much eaiser than polyester. On the plus side, it is resistant to water. With all that said, polypropylene can be a good choice for a swing temporarily or where the heat and cold are not that bad.
Using manila rope to hang a tree swing can be a fantastic choice, providing a rustic and natural aesthetic while also ensuring durability and strength. Manila rope, made from natural fibers derived from the abaca plant, is known for its robustness and resistance to wear and tear. When using manila rope, it's crucial to select a rope diameter and length that can comfortably support the weight of the swing and the individuals using it.
It's recommended to choose a diameter that offers a secure grip and minimizes the risk of slippage when before installing it. When attaching the rope to the tree, ensure that it is securely fastened around a sturdy branch or attachment point, using proper knots or hardware designed for this purpose. Regularly inspect the rope for any signs of fraying or weakening and replace it as needed to maintain safety. By utilizing manila rope, you can create a charming and dependable setup for your tree swing, enhancing the overall experience for everyone who enjoys it.
How to hang two ropes for a swing
Your swing may need two ropes hung from a tall tree. To accomplish this, you would follow the same procedure for hanging one rope. You need to check the branches on both trees to make sure they can support the tree swing. Once you have the two ropes over the branch you need to get the ropes in the right position before tying your knot to secure the rope to the branch. You can move a rope by holding onto both ends and swinging it with a whipping motion so it moves on the branch.
Types of swings to hang in a tall tree
You can hang just about any swing from a tall tree that you could hang from a shorter tree. But the best swings are listed below.
- Tire swing
- Wood plank swing
- Knotted rope swing
- Log swing
There are various types of swings that can be hung in a tall tree, each offering a unique experience and appeal. One popular choice is the classic wooden plank swing, which evokes a sense of nostalgia and simplicity. These swings can be customized with comfortable cushions or padding for added comfort. Another option is a rope swing, which provides a more adventurous and playful experience. Rope swings can be made from different materials like nylon or natural fibers, and they often have a sturdy wooden seat or a knot to sit on. For those seeking a more relaxing experience, a hammock swing can be a wonderful choice. Hammock swings typically feature a suspended fabric seat that cradles the body, providing a cozy and soothing spot to unwind. Additionally, there are disc swings, tire swings, and even nest swings, each with their own unique design and characteristics. When selecting a swing for a tall tree, consider factors such as safety, comfort, and personal preference to choose the type that best suits your needs and enhances your outdoor enjoyment.
Highest swing height you should use in a tall tree
When considering the height at which to set up a swing in a tall tree, safety should be the utmost priority. It is recommended to use a swing height that ensures both fun and precaution. Ideally, the highest swing height should be carefully determined based on factors such as the strength and stability of the tree, the integrity of its branches, and the surrounding environment. Engaging the assistance of an arborist or tree expert can be invaluable in assessing the tree's condition and identifying a suitable height for the swing. It is crucial to choose a height that allows for a comfortable swinging experience while also considering the potential risks associated with excessive heights, such as increased sway or branch instability. Ultimately, striking a balance between excitement and safety is essential when deciding on the highest swing height in a tall tree.
Hanging a tree swing in a tall artificial tree
When hanging a tree swing in a tall artificial tree, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, ensure that the artificial tree is designed to support the weight and motion of a swing. Check the manufacturer's guidelines or consult with the tree's installer if necessary. Additionally, examine the structure of the tree to identify a sturdy artificial branch or attachment point capable of bearing the weight and providing stability. It's crucial to securely fasten the swing hardware to the artificial tree, using appropriate and reliable attachments such as heavy-duty chains or ropes. Carefully follow the installation instructions provided with the swing to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Regularly inspect the tree, hardware, and swing for any signs of wear or damage, and make necessary adjustments or replacements as needed. By taking these precautions, you can create a safe and enjoyable swinging experience in a tall artificial tree.
Just because you don't have a good low branch tree or the tree you really want to hang your swing in has high limbs, you can still hang your swing. It will probably take a few tries to get your throwline over the branch and into the right spot, but you can do it. If you aren't physically able to throw your throwline high enough, ask a relative or friend to help you.