A treehouse is exposed to a lot of natural entities but the wind has the most effect. Under strong winds, the tree moves a lot and if the treehouse uses a tree that has the main support instead of a wooden base, the platform will move along the tree.
Another factor that can cause movement of treehouses is its inhabitants. The movement inside the treehouse also exerts pressure on the tree which leads to the swaying of the tree. So are there any methods for improving stability in treehouse supports?
Improving Stability In Treehouse Supports
Here we have a list of methods that could help you stabilize the treehouse support. These methods have been compiled keeping the basic structure of the treehouse. It is quite possible you might have a design that would require a completely different approach but worry these methods will also give core ideas about stabilizing a treehouse. You always improvise.
1. Use Flexible Support
When you compare a treehouse with a ground-based house, the foundation is the main difference. For ground-based structure, the foundation is fixed and strengthened by tons of material but for treehouses the foundation is not fixed. The treehouse foundation uses the support of either a single trunk or several trunks.
This means if the trunk moves the treehouse structure moves too. To counter or reduce this movement you have to ensure that each part of the tree moves separately and not fixed to a single immovable fixture. A flexible support system allows you to achieve that.
So what is a flexible support system? Let us explain to you in simple terms. The one end of the system will be fixed which usually consists of tree attachment bolts, brackets and braces. The other end of the same system which is usually the part with attachment points on the treehouse platform floats independently to counter the movement.
To achieve that floating movement you can either use metal brackets that allow the beam of the treehouse to slide in one direction or use cables which is more popular as it allows movement to occur in all directions. You can always ask someone with experience in designing flexible supports.
2. Use Flexible Trees
You can totally make your treehouse stable right from the beginning if you use a right tree or group of trees. Trees are naturally flexible, especially the tall ones. As the treehouse goes higher, in a much better way the treehouse can move around. You can read some good books related to the choice of trees.
You can further increase the stability if you use two to three trees for building a treehouse. You can completely reduce the movement. However, make sure to build a strong platform that uses all the trees for support.
If you can combine our first method and group of trees, you might be able to create very stable treehouse support. Yes, it will be a difficult task because you will have to deal with a lot of fixed points but if done right it can make for a highly stable foundation.
3. Use Poles
This method is particularly useful if you are planning to build a treehouse at a height of 8 feet or less. In such a case, rather than using the tree trunk for the support you can just use poles as base which are well secured in the ground. Many treehouse enthusiasts use this support system to build treehouses without trees.
If you want to use it with a system, you can use the popular two-pole and tree to create a stable support system for the treehouse. You can even build four poles for the support and a treehouse trunk just as a pillar for the house.
4. Least Moving Anchor
Another way of improving stability in treehouse supports is to choose the right spot on the tree. When you are choose the spot for installing the support system on the tree, choose the trunk or branch that does not move much even in the strong winds. A good rule of thumb is to choose a thick trunk and be as lower as possible.
To anchor the support system, use good-quality tree attachment bolts. You can either create a circular support system or a circular one. It completely depends on the design of your treehouse.
5. Brace Floor System
Another way to counteract the movement is to hold the treehouse into one strong unit. The best way to do that is to use it by bracing the floor. Just use simple plywood and screw it on the beam system. Make sure to use the screw every six inches of the beam.
And in case you are using floating joists you would have to fix joists to the beams. For that, you can either use metal brackets or straps. If the treehouse support is still not stable you can use some kind of diagonal bracing underneath the beam support.
All the methods that we mentioned are most effective when you are planning to build a treehouse. You might have to improvise or dismantle your treehouse to improve stability in treehouse supports. We would love to hear from you if some other ways to stabilize the support system.