It doesn’t matter if you are Gen X, Y, or Z; you must have been familiar with a tree swing in your backyard. Many of us spend countless hours hanging on these swings, creating equally memorable moments. Now, when you want to set up a similar tree swing in your backyard for your kid, you may find it difficult if the tree branch is angled. But we can’t take it for granted and postpone hanging the swing, can we? Because almost every problem comes with a solution.
For hanging a tree swing on an angled branch, there is more than one solution. You can either go for the professional way or do it by choosing the easier way, like the traditional method. This content will give you a step-by-step process for each of the methods. Additionally, we will also cover considerable factors for hanging a tree swing on an angled branch and some essential tips to get the best output from your effort. Read till the end and bring your childhood memories alive!
Mandatory Consideration Before Hanging A Tree Swing
Hanging a tree swing may look easy at first glance, but it involves some serious physics, and you must consider some factors before hanging one. There are three major considerations while hanging a swing on an angled branch. Such are:
1. Suitable Tree or Branch
The most important factor is the tree you attempt to hang the swing on. The tree should be well structured and sturdy enough to hold the full weight of the package, including the user and hanging setup. Note that not just the tree but also the subjected branch should be well inspected for its length, width, weight lifting capacity, any observable mold attack, angle level, etc.
If there is more than one branch available, then you should check all of them for better maturity, durability, and weight-lifting capacity.
2. Hanging Rope or Mechanisms
Next to the branch, ropes are the second most important and considerable factor for hanging a tree swing. Even if the branch is sturdy enough but you selected a weakened rope, there is a high chance of having an accident. A well-made and durable rope not only bears the weight but also holds immense pressure while you swing rapidly. There are different types of ropes available, but you should go for the high-grade polyester rope for better safety. They are mostly used for binding and lifting weights and are also used by mountaineers.
Depending on the sub-type, a polyester rope can hold a weight of about 600 lbs. to more than 1300 lbs.
Leveling: The angle of the branch is also a very important factor while hanging a tree swing. It has an impact on the sitting, and swinging direction, attachment, and structural durability of the swing, respectively. The different heights of the two rope attachment points should be measured and calculated thoroughly for a well-balanced tree swing experience.
3 Ways To Hang A Tree Swing On An Angled Branch
Although it may seem that ‘A Tree Swing’ is a single type of swing, actually there are different types of such swings with different hanging mechanisms. There is also distinct difference based on how you treat the tree, work mode, etc. So let’s begin, shall we?
1. Professional Way
The PVC pipe method is a way to hang a tree swing on an angled or uneven branch. It involves using a PVC pipe to create a level surface for the swing ropes to attach to. To complete the task, you will need:
- 1 Inch PVC Pipe
- Drilling Machine
- 3/8 installer bit
- 1-inch installer bit
- Carabiner or eye bolt
Here are the basic steps:
- Measure the width of your swing and mark two points on the branch where you want to hang it.
- Drill holes through the branch at the marked points.
- Measure the offset angle between the two marked spots. Not it down.
- Cut a PVC pipe that measures the diameter of the branch+ offset distance between the holes +1 inch combined.
- Using a 3/8 installer bit, drill holes across the pipe at both ends 1/2 inch down.
- Slide the pipe over the branch and secure it with nuts and bolts.
- Using a 1-inch installer bit, drill another hole through the higher portion of the branch above the pipe.
- Attach a carabiner or an eye bolt to the hole and connect your swing rope to it.
2. Traditional Way
There is a high chance that you found the professional swing-hanging method a bit hard to understand. If that is the case, worry not; you can go for the traditional swing-hanging method. For that, you will need:
- Polyester Ropes
- Small-diameter old tires or bendable plastic pipes
- Attaching Hooks
- Mark the spots: Identify the suitable angled branch. Use a lever to measure the height difference between the two attachment points. Remember it for future reference, and add markings on the attached points.
- Measure Rope Amount: Use a ladder to pass the rope over the angled branch. Keep one or two spins of wrapping or a clove hitch before sending it to the other side. Bring the start of that rope to a level where you want to keep the swing in a sitting position, or as per the attachable sitting installment. Keeping some extra inches on each end, cut the rope’s other end. Apply the same tactic to the other point.
- Placing Tire or Pipe: It is okay to keep the rope over the bare tree surface, but it can damage the rope over time. For that, you can imply the old tire upside down or bendable rubber pipes between the rope and tree surface. Keep the rope wrapping or clove hitch in place. This will allow better adjustment of the rope without any friction.
- Sorting the Rope Ends: After ensuring that the ropes are well set and equally level in height, now you can attach the sitting portion. I won’t suggest any distinct sitting platform for the swing. Rather, you can attach hooks and carabiners to the ropes at each end. This way, they will be eligible for attaching different types of seating platforms, such as wooden, saucer-shaped fabric seats, etc. Burn the rope ends with a fire to prevent any breaking.
3. Swing With Hang Kits
Apart from the DIY solutions, you can go for ready-made tree swing options for ease of installment. This system comes with a roping strap equipped with D-shaped metal molds at each end, safety lock carabiners, a 360° swivel snap, tree protectors, etc. The most beneficial aspect of a swing hang kit is that it comes with a ready-made setup. So you don’t have to be worried about measuring, sorting, or special customization while hanging on an angled branch. Another good side of such a kit is that you can interchange the sitting portion with tree swings, saucer swings, web swings, platform swings, and hammocks at any time. You can hang this kit easily by following these 5-minute steps:
- Identify the suitable branch and the two hanging spots.
- Bring each strap right above the designated spots.
- Put one of the D-shaped metal molds through the other points of the mold until the endpoint.
- Before tightening the patch, place the tree protectors between the strap and the tree surface.
- Attach the carabiners to the hanging D-shaped molds.
- There should be similar carabiners in the seating portion too. Attach them with the strap carabiners.
- Adjust the height if necessary.
Your quick-hanging tree swing is ready for use.
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Best Trees For Hanging A Tree Swing
To have a safe swing motion from a tree swing, you must ensure that the swing is attached to a suitable tree. Weak, unhealthy, and insect-affected trees should be avoided at all costs. Some distinct tree species are well known for their structure and strength. So, consider these trees for hanging a tree swing.
The best trees to hang a swing on are:
- Oak: Oak is one of the hardest natural hardwood tree species. Small to medium-sized oak trees are suitable for hanging a swing. A 20-foot-long and 8-inch-diameter oak branch can hold as much as 300kg of weight.
- Maple (sugar): Maple trees are very common in most states. Their colorful appearance can make your backyard aesthetic appealing, and having a swing hung on such a tree can be beneficial. Maple trees are also hardwood in nature. One similar-sized tree branch can hold more or less 225kg of weight.
- Beech: Beech trees are hardwood trees that are sturdy and suitable for installing swings. They have beautiful foliage, which can create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere for swinging. A 20-foot-long and 8-inch-diameter oak branch can hold as much as 220kg of weight.
- Sycamore: The next suitable tree on the list is sycamore. They are hardwood trees and are eligible for lifting weights. They can grow large, sturdy, and spreading branches that are perfect for hanging a tree swing.
- Cedar (if the tree is strong enough): Although cider woods aren’t considered hardwoods, they are pretty sturdy and suitable for installing swings. Cedar trees are naturally resistant to insects, rot, and decay, which prolongs their lives.
Why Is The Swing Not Swinging Straight?
The swing isn’t swinging straight due to the wrong installation of the materials, especially the difference between the attaching points and the uneven height. The gap between the two attachment points should be slightly larger than the sitting portion. Also, they should be even in parallel, side to side, and in rope length.
Is leaving the tree swing outside all year damaging it?
Even if leaving the tree swing outside all year doesn’t damage it much, it can weaken its structural integrity. So you should unhang it and store it for the harsh winter months. This way, you can increase your tree swing’s durability.
Tips For Hanging A Tree Swing On An Angled Branch
Here are some tips you will find very helpful while hanging a tree swing on an angled branch:
- Durable Materials: Tree swings are exposed to harsh weather elements for long days. That’s why their materials need to be top-notch. Better-quality material will ensure better safety.
- Swing Direction: As the branch is angled, it will affect the swinging direction of the tree if it is not placed correctly. An uneven swinging direction can ruin your swinging experience.
- Weight of the User: The weight of the user is very important. For example, if the swing is made for a child, it is better to have it used by an adult. Otherwise, the ropes can be wired off easily.
- Prefer Easy Ways: There are various ways to hang a tree swing on an angled branch. Use the relatively easy and compact ones for frequent installation and removal of the swing.
- Don’t Harm The Tree: Trees have a life too. So it is better not to harm them while you hang a tree swing for your family’s amusement. Avoid drilling if there is no other option.
- Seating Comfort: Comfortable seating can give you the best swing experience. That’s why, depending on the user’s style, choose the most comfortable seats in your tree swing.
- Attachments: There could be numerous attachments on your tree swing. You should attach them securely at first and keep monitoring as you use the swing from time to time.
An angled branch can never stop your enthusiasm to set up and have a tree swing in your backyard space tree. A tree swing can give you or your family members a memorable backyard time; it doesn’t matter if they are children or adults in age. Although an angled branch poses a little challenge to set the tree swing perfectly, the methods mentioned above can ease your worry and work easily. You just have to identify the right spot for the right tree, analyze it, gather the materials, and install them as per the above guidelines. So let’s bring the joy of playing in a tree swing from your childhood to your backyard.
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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.