Swings provide the perfect relaxing atmosphere for a lazy weekend afternoon or a fantastic summer evening. Having shady trees in your backyard to hang your swing can be a great way to make your home compound fun and relaxing.
And if you’re a hiker, you can pack a swing to tie between two trees and use it to relax during your stops instead of sleeping on the ground where crawling insects could attack you.
If you don’t have a tree with sturdy branches in your compound or hiking trail, you can still hang a swing between two trees.
This guide will show you how to hang a swing between two trees, the different methods to hang swing between two trees, the best trees for your swing, and which materials to use.
Table of Contents
How To Hang A Swing Between Two Trees: The Methods
There are different types of tree swings, just as there are various creative ways and places like under decks and porches to hang them. For example, you can use an improvised car tire or a camping hammock with a mosquito net.
However, before you settle on the ideal swing to hang, you first need to understand the different ways you can set it up between two trees without problems such as squeaking and sliding down. Consider the following different methods:
The Beam Method
Having a beam connected to two trees is safer if you’re planning to hang a heavy swing like a car tire or bigger swings for many people. A sturdy timber beam is excellent for accommodating the extra weight and maintaining safety.
You can permanently hang your swing using this method if you have the required tools like a saw, drills, and bolts. Over time the trees will grow around the materials fixed to them.
The Ratchet Strap Method
Ratchet straps, otherwise known as webbed straps or tie-down straps, can be tied around two tree trunks to set up a swing firmly and safely. This method is ideal for setting up temporary swings on a camping trip or hiking trail.
The ratchet straps method is also easy and quick if you don’t have the time or the necessary tools to hang a permanent swing, especially if you can’t attach a beam to the trees. You only need two carabiners, a swing or hammock, D-rings, and straps for this method.
Eyebolts resemble screws that you can use to attach the cables of your swing. While this is yet another handy option for hanging a swing between two trees, it can hold a little weight and requires a more robust beam to ensure safety.
Using eyebolts to make a swing brings an attractive aesthetic appeal, and it’s an excellent method if you’re a minimalist.
The Knot Method
If you’re looking for a cheaper and more straightforward way of hanging your tree swing between the trunks of two trees, consider using just rope and your swing.
Do a running bowline knot to tie your swing in place. This is the one method where you will finally put your boy or girl scouting skills to some use.
How To Hang A Swing Between Two Tree Trunks: The Safety Precautions
Since a tree swing is designed to hang several inches from the ground, any slight malfunction can cause a serious accident that may result in injuries. Therefore, this factor should be considered, especially if kids will primarily use the swing.
Reports show that approximately 40% of accidents in children result from poorly installed swings. So you must factor in the safety considerations besides the fun. To avoid head concussions or butts, follow these safety precautions when hanging your swing.
Work With Stronger, Healthier Trees
Older trees may appear like the most robust trees in your backyard, but that’s never the case. To hang swing between two trees, ensure the trunks measure no less than 8 inches in diameter.
Eight to ten diameters are the standard size of a tree trunk capable of holding the weight of the swing and that of the people who will be using it. Wrap a measuring tape around the tree’s diameter breast height (DBH).
Divide the measurements with pi or 3.1416. To further establish if a tree is sturdy and not Judy hollow inside, look out for the following signs of a weak tree:
- The tree is dead or withered
- The tree is cracked or split
- The roots of two trees are exposed such that they run on the ground, making it rough
- There are signs of decay on the tree
Consider The Weight
Imagine after all the hard work of hanging your swing only to end up on the ground, face first, because you’re too heavy for the swing.
The most suitable materials for hanging tree swings each have a specific weight limit, so consider the weight for each regardless of the method you use. Also, you need to consider your weight and the people intended to use the swing, since different swings have a standard weight they can hold.
If you’re looking to hang a tree swing, they will hold many people, or if the trees you intend to use are young and sturdy, the beam method is the best option.
The ratchet strap method is ideal for hanging swings for adults, especially for those quiet afternoon naps. If you’re looking to hang a porch swing for young children, use the eyebolts method.
Use Good Quality Materials
Suitable trees are just one of the many materials you’ll need to safely install a swing in your backyard. You’ll also need to work with the best quality ropes that can withstand outdoor elements and extreme weather conditions like scorching sun and ice frost. Therefore consider these types of ropes for hanging your swing:
- Polyester ropes: Polyester can withstand a lot of abuse and does not wear out quickly, making it ideal for outdoor porch swings.
- Polypropylene ropes: These types of ropes are not only affordable but handy. However, be careful the amount of weight you’ll subject it to as it can break under extreme weight.
- Metal chains: Metals are naturally stronger than ropes and can hold the heaviest swing. But, since it’s cumbersome, it requires an equally stronger tree trunk and technical support to avoid falling.
- Braided nylon ropes: Braided nylon ropes are Judy as strong but not as strong as polyester ropes. They can hold your swing for some time but will eventually wear out and stretch from the extreme weather.
Hanging A Porch Swing Between Two Trees: Tree Selection
As we have seen when hanging swings between two trees, it’s much safer to work with healthy trees available. If you’re looking to hang a permanent swing, use the strongest hardwoods such as:
- Mango trees
- Maple trees
- Oak trees
- Beech trees
- Narra trees
- Hornbeam trees
- Sycamore trees
It would be best to avoid softer wood or young trees since they can break with time. Such trees include:
- Ash trees
- Pine trees
- Poplar trees
- Birch trees
- Willow trees
- Spruce trees
How To Hang a Swing Between Two Trees: The Process
Once you’ve decided which type of swing you want to hang, the method to use, the ideal tree, and safety considerations, the next step is to gather all the materials you will use. Here are the general materials you will need for any type of tree or porch swing:
If you decide to use the ratchet strap method of hanging swing, get yourself a pair of rope swing, two D-strings, and two heavy-duty carabiners to clip on the swing.
If you choose the beam method, you can buy timber beams from your local hardware or lumberjack store. The length of the timber beam depends on the distance between the trees you’ll use, but it should be 4 x 6 on average.
Buy a pair of metal chains or rope and two swing hangers with suspension hooks. Also, include a set of screws and two heavy-duty carabiners for clip on the swing.
For the hammock or eyebolts method, you’ll need a pair of eye bolt hooks, a pair of ropes, and two heavy-duty carabiners for clipping on the swing.
Finally, if you plan to use the knot method, you’ll need a buckle or two heavy-duty carabiners and a pair of rigging ropes since running bowline knots will hold the swing in place.
Choose The Right Location
If your backyard has several trees, you’ll need to find an ideal spot from where you’ll enjoy a good time relaxing on your swing. You may settle on the right trees, but they may not be in a good spot. So to help you determine the right location to hang your swing, consider these factors:
- Find sturdy trees with the best view
- Find healthy trees that can safely support your swing
- Ensure the trees are proportionally set apart by the proper distance: no other tree should be too close or too far
- Ensure the ground is flat and free of rocks or tree roots
Measure The Area You Want To Hang Your Swing
The best step is to measure the area you want to hang your swing. The ropes you’ll use should be the same length for each tree.
If one tree is bigger than the other, consider adding a buffer to the rope to ensure the straps are of sufficient length so you’ll be able to adjust them comfortably.
It’s much safer to have excess inches of rope than compromise. However, if the swing is meant for the children, be sure to adjust the height of the swing seat accordingly to accommodate them.
If no kids will be using the swing, you can adjust the height of the swing seat according to your preferences.
Hang Your Swing
Once you have the right spot and measurements, attach the rope or beam to two trees. Consider using power tools such as cordless screwdrivers to make the job much easier and less time-consuming.
Ensure the two straps are of the same level so you can maintain your balance when you sit on the swing.
Once you’re done hanging the swing between two trees, test to see if it’s properly installed and safe to use.
Sit on the swing and determine if there are any unbuckled carabiners, loose bolts or if it can handle the intended weight comfortably.
If everything is fine, your swing is fully installed and ready to use. And that’s how you hang a swing between trees. Congratulations.
How To Hang A Swing On A Tree Without Branches
Having learned how to hang a swing between two trees, you may be interested in knowing how to hang a swing on a single tree without branches.
While hanging a swing on a mature tree is a no-brainer, some homeowners may not have trees with branches in their compound. Or the branches would be too high for a standard swing to hang from.
In other cases, the tree with branches may be in the wrong spot, which you may not consider the ideal relaxing location. In that case, follow this guide to learn how you can safely hang a swing from a tree without branches.
- Step 1: Pick a sturdy tree: Just like the steps given above on how to hang a swing between two trees, not every tree is suitable for hanging a swing except hardwoods that are healthy and able to hold much weight.
- Step 2: Select a header or limb: You need a replacement attached to the tree for trees without branches. Ensure the limb you’ll use can withstand weather and accommodate a lot of weight. The artificial limb shouldn’t be less than 6 feet long, and we recommend treated timber for this.
- Step 3: Attach the artificial limb: At this stage, consider getting some help since the artificial limb may be too heavy for you to lift and install alone. Drill pilot holes on the board, but don’t do the same to the trunk. With the hole fully drilled, drive a lag bolt through the swing board and additional lag bolts measuring inches into the trunk.
You need ropes, chains, hooks, eye bolts, and a swing board for this swing type. These items should come as a complete package with your swing.
Drill pilot holes measuring 21 inches apart on the swing board and attach the ropes to the swing board, then bring the end of the rope to the drilled holes.
To get the correct height of the swing from the ground, have a child sit on the swing. If they can touch the ground with the tip of their toes, then that is the ideal height. Next, secure the rope on the artificial limb by tightening it to ensure it’s fully tied and tight enough to sustain considerable weight.
And that’s how you easily hang a swing to a tree without branches.
How to Hang a Tire Swing Between Two Trees
If you have kids and wish to hang a swing using inexpensive materials, you can improvise using things like an old tire. Making a tire swing requires nothing more than just a tire, quick links, and straps.
And straps are always affordable with a high load limit meaning they can carry any weight. For this type of swing, you will need:
- An old tire
- Quick links
- One short strap
- Two long straps
- Bolts and eyebolts
Use the two long straps to hold the swing onto the sturdy trees. As for the short strap, use it to hold the chains and ensure its length is the same as the tire’s diameter. Instead of a beam, you will use straps held together with quick links for this type of swing.
The first step begins with preparing the tire. First, clean up the tire using a dishwasher, soap, and water, and ensure all rough edges are removed before installing the eyelets.
If you want to beautify the tote, you can apply sealant or child-friendly paint to improve its aesthetics.
Also, if you want to make the tire swing a little more comfortable, you can place a cushion in the space in the middle, depending on your preferences.
Next, add eyelets on two opposite sides of the tire and firmly bolt them. Finally, pass the rope or chain on the eyelets and fasten them tightly.
The next step is to install the straps and ropes on the root of the branch to create a hook. The hook helps prevent the straps from sliding down when the swing is in use.
Also, one advantage of using straps instead of a beam is that you don’t need to locate parallel locations to attach them. Instead, you only need to ensure the straps are adjusted to a comfortable and sturdy length.
Next, install the quick links on a single end of the long straps and both ends of the short strap. Finally, fasten the long straps around e ch tree according to the desired height.
With that done, attach the swing to the quick links and the tire to the bottom of the rope and tie it according to the preferred height. And that’s how you hang a tire wing using straps and rope.
Always check the swing from time to time to determine if the quick links are in perfect condition or if there’s any sign of wear and tear.
FAQs: How To hang A Porch Swing Between Two Trees
Is It Possible To Build A Durable Swing Between Two Trees?
Yes. You only need to ensure the ropes or chains are good quality and that the two trees are healthy and sturdy enough to support a swing. Go for hardwood like oak or mango trees, or avoid softwood or decayed trees.
Can You Hang A Swing From two Pine Trees?
It depends on how strong the tree is. If it has sturdy branches on the trunk and looks healthy, you can hang a regular swing from it. Also, ensure the swing is installed correctly so it doesn’t hit the tree when in use. It’s much safer to use hardwoods and avoid evergreen trees since they tend to have weaker branches.
Is Tree Swing Safe?
Swings are generally safe, but they can damage your tree and even cause accidents if not installed properly. Also, avoid wrapping a metal chain or rope around your tree branch as the friction can damage it. Instead, install a branch strap and attach a rope or chain according to the swing’s length.
How Do You Know If A Tree Trunk Will Hold a Swing?
A thick branch, mainly hardwood like oak or mango tree, will be strong enough to hold your swing. Ensure your branch is at least 8 inches in diameter and avoid hanging swing between two pines. Also, the tree should not have any cracks, splits, or decayed spots.
How Much Weight Can a Tree Climb Hold?
That depends on the tree, whether it’s hard or softwood. It also depends on how thick the branch is and the tree’s overall health. Another thing that determines t e amount of weight a tree climb can hold is the trunk’s diameter. A box measuring 40 cm can carry a load of 251.2 tons, with the weight capacity of the swing hardware being 60-70 lbs.
Swings were a fun part of our childhoods, and having one in your backyard can bring back the memories of fun and laughter.
And even if you’re not a child anymore, you’re never too old to have some fun time with your kids or spouse out in the backyard.
With kids, you can make their childhood even more memorable by hanging a hammock, a tire swing, or any swing-out in your backyard.
Also, working with trees is a valuable skill that can come in handy during those hiking and camping trips.
When thinking of hanging a swing between two trees, consider it a family DIY project and let every family member join in to help. It can be a fun time to bond and play as a family.