The Many Different Types of Tree Swings


Have you ever thought about installing a tree swing on your property? If not, you should!

Tree swings are not just for kids; they are for people of all ages and it can be a relaxing way to sit back and admire your yard and patio. If your backyard happens to have a view, the tree swing becomes even more enjoyable!

Luckily, there are several types of tree swings available. In this guide, we will give you all the best info about the types of tree swings so you can get your swing set up this weekend!

When hanging a tree swing, you need to make sure that the branch is at least 8 inches in diameter. You should have two to three feet of clearance from the tree itself and at least ten to twelve feet in the back and front of the swing.

Wooden Tree Swings

A classic wooden tree swing is simply a piece of wood with two strings coming out the side that gets tied around the tree.

These swings are generally quite simple and can often be homemade. The traditional wooden tree swing does not have a back, and it is sometimes not overly comfortable. However, this is a classic and generally simple swing to build and hang.  Additionally, they can be remarkably affordable.

Multi-Person Tree Swings

Multi-person tree swings are more for swaying than they are for swinging. These swings will hold a few people at once. The most critical factor when hanging a tree swing is that you choose a solid branch. We recommend eight inches in diameter for a tree swing, but for a multi-person, you must increase that number significantly. 

Disc Tree Swings

The disc tree swing is the modern-day rope swing. These swings have a disc on the bottom that you sit on and wrap your legs around. Then you use two hands to hold the rope. Disc tree swings tend to give an excellent ride. They are also easy to hang, as there is only one connection point between the swing and the tree. Disc tree swings are also usually pretty affordable and built more for kids, or smaller people as the disc is not always that large. 

Hammock Tree Swings

A hammock tree swing is an excellent alternative to a hammock. The way these tree swings are designed, you will not need two trees or steel posts to get a real hammock experience. Hammock tree swings are generally very light to hang (as long as you use the correct hardware) and can help if you have a slightly less stable tree branch.

Spider Web Tree Swings

Spider web tree swings have been growing in popularity in the last few years. They are surprisingly comfortable and glide very well. Spider web tree swings can be purchased in many different sizes and fit multiple people. When it comes to hanging spider web tree swings, it should not be any harder than other models. They are made with a rope that holds up quite well outside over time. 

Tree Swings With Backs

Tree swings with backs are great for younger kids or people that don’t have the balance between supporting themselves on a traditional wood tree swings. Some tree swings with backs can feel almost like sitting in a porch or patio chair. The only real downside to these is that they tend to have a shorter swinging radius. It this doesn’t bother you, then the tree swing with a back is a safe and quality option.

Common Questions

When hanging a tree swing, pay attention to where the swing will go, not just where you are hanging it. Does the tree swing extend out into the road? Does the swing get close to the house? Always inspect the entire area to make sure it is safe.

Can I Hang a Porch Swing From a Tree?

As long as the branch is sturdy enough, and you have the correct porch swing hardware, you can definitely hang a porch swing from a tree. It might not feel as sturdy as hanging it from a strong 2×6, but there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a shot.

One thing to note, you may have to tweak the chain height to get everything just right. Branches aren’t as uniform as ceiling joists.

How Thick Should a Tree Branch Be For My Tree Swing?

Your tree branch should be at least 8 inches in diameter. If you go with something a bit thicker than this, you will have more support and a good base for a heavier tree swing.

Is My Tree Strong Enough For A Swing?

There are no exact rules to determine if your tree can handle a tree swing; however, there are a few guidelines that we recommend you follow when choosing a tree for your swing.

Do not pick a young tree or a very old tree. Young trees are still developing, and they are not strong enough.  Old trees may be starting to die off in certain areas, and the branch your swing is on could snap.

Try to find a middle-Aged tree that is in good health. Do you water the tree, fertilize it, prune it, etc. If you know it’s a healthy middle-aged tree, it should be plenty strong enough.

How Much Weight Can My Tree Swing Hold?

Unfortunately, this number will vary significantly because of all the factors involved. Depending on the type of wood, weight of the swing, age of the tree, the weight your tree swing can hold will vary greatly. If you are hanging this tree swing for your child, it should be tested by an adult before use. If it can support the weight of an adult, it should be capable of handling the child.

With adults or larger people, you may want to skip the tree swing and go with a swing or hammock supported by a steel base or beams.

Are Tree Swings Safe?

If tree swings are installed correctly, they can be very safe.

However, a tree swing should be tested thoroughly before use to verify its safety. When hanging your tree swing, make sure to look for large roots or other obstructions that could hurt a person should they fall off the swing.

If you see some potential hazards, try and pick another spot for the tree swing.

What Should I Put Under My Tree Swing?

If you want to leave grass under your swing, that is entirely acceptable, but you may have a hard time keeping it alive. The grass will see a decent amount of wear and tear from people starting and stopping themselves on the swing.

Another option to put under the swing would be a soft, loose mulch. This is also not a hard or painful object if someone should fall.

Stay away from a concrete base or bricks. If someone catches their foot on this or happens to fall from the swing, it could end in a severe injury.

Does A Tree Branch Need To Be Straight To Hang A Tree Swing? 

People often wonder if you must choose a perfectly straight branch to hang a tree swing. This is not necessary as you can adjust the strings on your swing to balance the swing.

However, when a branch is not straight, there can be some stress on what you call the armpit of the tree—the area where the branch and the tree trunk connect. You have to monitor this angle and keep an eye on it to make sure that it is not under extra stress from handing the tree swing. The straighter the branch, the less stress on that part of the tree. 

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Captain

I'm Chuck (the Captain). I'm passionate about my outdoor space and love sharing my experiences with the world at large. I want Captain Patio to become the best place on the internet to find, share, and learn about all things patio-related. When I'm not keeping up my content schedule, I'm spending time with my wife and two kids (usually on my patio!).

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