Let's say I have two large trees in my backyard that are about 61" apart
and 69" and 59" in diameter. Unfortunately there is no branch for a swing
in the perfect place higher up between them, in fact the lowest branch is
on the other side on one of the trees, and it's about 20 feet high (I don't
think my ladder could reach it even if I wanted to).
Is there some way to affix a rope, maybe about 15 feet high, between the
two trees so I can string a swing from it? What's the best way to do this
without harming the trees and not have it slowly slip down? I thought this
might make a neat summer project. Thanks.
Trees that size will not be harmer by screwing 1/2", 8" long eye bolts
into them. Predrill 1/2" pilot holes slightly angled downward and
coat the eye bolt threads with wax/parafin (latex works, too. Raw
latex is the natural "waxy" coating on leaves). 1/4" or 3/8" S hooks
to attach the swing's chains.
If you have some milkweed plants (Monarch butterfly caterpiller food =
latex), rub the leaves on the bolt threads, if you don't have a candle
If it was me, I would get a stout section of metal pipe, maybe 2" or so, and
hang it up in each tree (affix each end of the pipe with some rope,
replacing the rope every few years). From the metal pipe strung up high
between the two trees, you will have a location from which to attach your
swings - you always want at least two swings, as swinging is more fun with a
Finally some useful advice, many thanks! I notice you mention "swing's
chains" and chains might be a better way to go than rope, it would be less
likely to stretch or (if it's not a synthetic rope) rot.
For the seat, I guess I should try to find an oak plank about 2" thick,
then paint it with enamel.
BTW, it will be great to swing in the kind of swing before the
anal-retentive types started making them use "rubber belts" as seats in
kid's swings as a safety precaution, I hate that!
A 2" oak slab will be really heavy and your swinging motion will be
sluggish, at best. Test: At arm's length, swing an empty and loaded
suit case and see/feel the difference. If you are to make your own
swing, I'd suggest cypress, Eastern Red cedar or Redwood and don't put
any finish on it. Seat and backrest made of 3/8" - 1/2" thick slats,
with gaps (#6 finishing nail diameter) between, so that it dries fast
after a rain.
If you try to paint or finish any outdoor woodwork, in hopes it will
be sealed, you're thinking wishfully. You are unlikely to seal every
little nook & cranny and water will seep/wick under the coating and
the wood will rot, even cypress, cedar and redwood. Not so much the
wetness will casue the rot, but the decay from dirt, grime,
bacterior, and other abnormal no-see-ums/growth associated with damp
warm environments..... add spilled warmed beer in the mix, also!
1/4" chain, as any smaller may wear out and break faster than you
think, depending on the connections you use ----> Some hardware stores
have eye bolts with pressed-in high density plastic rotating bushings,
specifically for hanging porch type swings. Small size S hooks hooked
on eye bolts, alone (no plastic bushing), will wear thin and break.
OK I will use something other than oak, I was just thinking about
durability. I can probably find a piece of cedar that's suitable. I don't
want a backrest, just a seat. I think about 30" x 12" would do the trick.
I've used Minwax "Polyshades - 1 step stain & polyurethane" on a porch
(actually patio) swing that was unfinished in its kit. It's done pretty
well since I finished it in 2007, but it's somewhat protected from the
elements by the patio roof. I even used what was left over to finish the
post that holds up my mailbox.
Are you talking about the type of chain that's commonly used on porch
swings, or a more conventional type chain? I'm not even sure if I can buy
the "porch swing chain" by the foot.
Yes as a matter of fact my patio swing uses these kind of hooks. I was
hoping they might be available separately but I wasn't sure. They would
probably be worth the bother of ordering online if the big box stores don't
I'm sort of hesitant to make a direct connection between the trees at the
top with something like a 2 x 6 because these are really tall trees and
I've noticed they can sway slightly in a very strong wind. I think just
dropping a chain to the seat using eye bolts would work better.
In article , "chaniarts"
That would be great but I don't live within the city limits, if my house
caught on fire I'd have to use one of the county volunteer fire departments
and I don't think they'd volunteer to do something like that!
we had a volunteer fire department at that time. they loved doing things
like this; community service and all. at xmas they put santa on the fire
truck and drove through all the streets of the (albeit very) small town.
still do, from what i hear.
I took some pics of the trees to give you a better idea. After I stepped
back and looked at it that tree on the right curves outward slightly so I
may have to string a real strong chain at the top from tree to tree, give
it a little slack, and drop the swing chains about 10 or 11 inches in from
Ah, a simple single seat swing. Gotcha! All this while, I was
assuming a multi-seat porch type swing. Yep, almost any good plank
should do well for your seat. I would still suggest the most weather
resistant lumber, though, as it would likely be just as easy to
obtain as a non-weather resistant lumber. Those simple seats are easy
to change, if they go bad, also.
Neither of those trees aren't dispositioned enough that a swing's good/
proper motion would be affected. I would invest in eye bolts, as
initially recommended, hang and use the swing. If there are any
issues that arise, your installation/positioning is not so complicated
that any readjustment/reposition can't be done relatively easily.
In thinking porch swing (multi-person load bearing), I initially
though fairly heavy guage linked chain. Use your common sense for
chain size.... 1/8" guage.