Living in the trees and how to build a tree house

When my daughter was nine years old everyone in her class was asked 'What would you do if you ruled the world?' A big notion, hey? My daughter's answer was 'Make everyone live in trees'! At first we thought her idea was small and strange but after a little consideration we realised the greatness of it. Tree houses and secret hiding places and forts are the stuff great childhoods should be made of - they connect with our imagination. The tree house, to me, and obviously to my daughter, was the coolest of all these constructions. Lately it has become obvious that you do not need to be a kid to enjoy a good tree house and many examples are being found around the globe. I have posted a few here to show you. If you scroll down to the bottom of this post you will find out how we built our own tree house if you are interested.

In Nahiku, Hawaii you can live in a tree and it has an amazing view of the ocean, volcano and mountains. The Nahiku Treehouse is in a giant mango tree in a rain forest over eight metres from the ground.  It is available for overnight visits if you are reasonably fit. I must tell my daughter!

Bensfield Tree House, East Sussex, England
This luxury English tree house has all you need for a romantic or well-earned break far from the madding crowds. Built by ‘Blue Forest’ it provides a retreat for two within an hour of London. Crossing the rope bridge takes you back to childhood dreams yet forward into a grown-up treehouse retreat.

Tree house in India
Vanya Tree house is part of the Greenwoods Hotel in Thekkady, in the Kerala state of India, where you arrive by jeep to the forest area, and then trek up another kilimetre to reach this secluded tree house.
Vasa park, near Stockholm, Sweden.

We did build a tree house, a while ago, but it was much closer to the ground than this as our tree house was for young children. We considered the tree and found a good strong, healthy tree. We considered all the components of the house: the platform, the windows and doors, the decks and railings, and also how children would climb into the tree house and get out. We were lucky enough to purchase a strong, sturdy second hand slippery dip from our children's preschool and incorporated it into the design.
The platform was built first to provide the support system for the whole structure. It was close to the trunk but with space to accommodate the tree's future growth. Then the floor was nailed down, then the walls and then the roof which was sloping and made of left over pieces of corrugated iron. No part of the tree house touched the tree but was just fitted snuggly around it. We also built a ramp as access which was possible because of a gentle slope behind the tree. It proved a very wise decision as all the very young visitors wanted to visit the tree house too and the ramp meant easy access for all.
Other considerations when building a tree house:
  • council permission
  • construction materials
  • height of people using the tree house and if they are children don't forget the growth factor!
  • safety such as height and strength of railings
  • ventilation
  • furniture such as seating: will it be built in or moveable?
Have fun building your tree house and I hope you have lots of helpers.

POSTED BY LESLEY SHARPE who also writes at GNN Good News Network where you can get lots more positive ideas.


Anonymous said...

If I ruled the world I would go back to the barter system and ask everyone to imagine peace - you cannot be fighting if you imagine peace

Anonymous said...

weird and wonderful to live in the trees

Clay said...

Always makes me remember when I was a kid and dreamt up great cubby houses to build. It's cool that grown ups can appreciate tree houses


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