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Backyard Ideas

Hanging a Backyard Tree Swing

Tips on how to hang a rope swing

  • backyard tree swing Tree swings are enjoyable for children and adults alike.

Backyard Tree Swing

Time / 00:54

Watch this video to learn how much space is needed to have a rope tree swing in your backyard.

A backyard tree swing can provide fun for the whole family. When hanging a tree swing the first concern is the safety of those who will use it, the second concern is the health of the tree. The tree you select must be mature, strong and healthy. If there are any questions about the suitability of the tree consult a certified arborist before hanging your swing.

Tree Swing Types:

  • Tire - single rope
  • Board - double rope
  • Disc - single rope
Pro Tip: The biggest mistake people make when hanging a tree swing is simply tying the rope around a branch. This will damage the bark and likely lead to choking off the branch, which causes a safety problem because the branch is no longer sturdy. Instead you want to allow space for growth. Ask you landscape designer for advice on the right way to install a rope swing for your specific tree.
- Garden Artisan Scott Cohen, The Green Scene

Tips for selecting the best tree & branch:

  • The tree must be large and strong
  • The branch should be at least 4 inches in diameter
  • A level branch will provide the smoothest and straightest swinging motion
Pro Tip: We recommend drilling all the way through the branch and installing an eyebolt onto which a threaded connector can be attached. This provides a safe, strong attachment for a tree swing without the risk of potentiality choking off the branches growth.
- Natalie Koppes, Breezy Wooden Swings

Tree swing safety tips:

  • Hang the swing at least three feet from the trunk, but not so far out that it stresses the branch, a stressed branch could snap and injure a swinger

  • Provide a soft base for landing - cover the area around the swing with a bed of rubber mulch, fine sand or wooden fiber mulch

  • Never use a chain to hang a swing because it can easily pinch kids', or adults', fingers

Contributing Authors:

Scott Cohen, contributing writer for Landscaping Network and owner of The Green Scene

Sarah Hutchinson, contributing writer for Landscaping Network

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