How to hang a tree swing? How much rope do I need? Whats the best method to hang a swing? Find out below:
How to hang a tree swing is one of the most commonly asked questions we get. The following information is for reference only. We do not recommend any one method over another when hanging a tree swing. The information you find here has all come from open source material. It is to assist anyone who has recently brought/considering buying a tree swing for their garden. All information is aimed at the domestic user rather than those considering hanging a tree swing in a public place. We hope the following information is useful. Please remember all responsibility for hanging one of our tree swings lays with the person installing it.
Where is best to hang a tree swing?
There is a good chance that you already have an idea of where you would like to hang a tree swing! Most gardens have a small number of trees in them which would be of suitable size to hang a tree swing from, however finding a suitable branch to hang the swing from may be difficult. When searching for a suitable branch please check first that the whole tree is in good condition. Choose a suitably large limb/branch and closely check that too. Make sure to pay close attention to where the limb joins the trunk of the tree.
Ideally the branch needs to be as horizontal as possible. A slight angle on the branch shouldn’t make a huge difference. A level branch will ensure both ropes are the same length, allowing the tree swing to swing evenly. If one rope is significantly longer than the other, it will cause the tree swing to skew. It is recommended to hang the tree swing as close to the trunk of the tree as safely possible. This reduces the load on the branch itself. Hang the swing with the ropes splayed out at the top slightly, this will stop the swing from twisting. When testing your swing please remember there will be different forces and strains (dynamic loading) on the branch when the swing goes through its full motion.
How much rope do I need to hang my tree swing?
The amount of rope you will need to hang a tree swing can vary dependant on the method used for hanging the swing. A ‘swing hitch’ knot will require the most as the rope will need to be wrapped around the branch about three times to tie the swing in place. You will then need to add on the drop from the branch to the seat. Rope clamps require the rope to be wrapped around the branch a minimum of two turns before clamping the tail to the standing part of the rope.
Methods of Hanging a Tree Swing:
The Swing Hitch
The swing hitch is a common method for tying the ropes of your tree swing to the branch of a tree. The benefits of the swing hitch are that as load is applied to the tree swing it traps and tightens the standing part of the rope. However when the load is released the hitch is easily loosened to be untied if required (for adjustment etc).
Rope clamps work by squeezing the long part of the rope (from branch to seat) to the ‘tail’ tightly together. The rope should wrap entirely around the branch a minimum of two times, a further turn will provide additional grip. Any extra rope is better wrapped around the branch, than cut off and thrown away.
At least two rope clamps (one pair) should be fitted to each rope for security and safety. The first clamp should be fitted close to the branch in order to trap the rope around it. The rope wrapped around the branch should not move when the tree swing is swinging. Any movement will damage both the tree and the rope.
Actually hanging the Tree Swing
When you hang your tree swing its always easier if there is someone to assist you. The ‘assistant’ can hold the seat of the tree swing level and at the correct height. Whilst you secure the hanging ropes at the branch (or vice versa).
New ropes such as synthetic hemp have an “initial” amount of stretch in them on their first use. This is effectively all the “slack” being taken out of the rope. If you tie off your tree swing at the correct height initially, as soon as its sat on, it will drop lower. It is better to tie off the rope temporarily and get your assistant to sit on the tree swing to stretch out the rope. Once stretched, re attach at the correct height.