Have two backyard trees that could be put to good use?
Then you probably need to hang swing between two trees.
Nothing like your children enjoying their life in a swing. Going back and forth, sharing with their siblings or friends, playing video games, or just taking a breath of fresh air.
And what about using it yourself? Nothing like reading, swinging back and forth close to nature…
Hanging that swing won’t be easy, though. Especially if you haven’t hung one of them before.
Don’t worry, though. It’s not rocket science either.
We’ll show you EVERYTHING about hanging a swig between two trees. So keep reading!
What Type of Swing to Use?
There are tons of different swings to pick. Depending on what type of experience you’re looking for, the choice of a swing will vary.
We decided to describe each option below:
These are among the most popular, and for a reason.
A spider swing not only looks impressive in your backyard, but they’re also hugely comfortable to allow free and relaxing swinging.
The main advantage is how easy they are to hang. Most come with their own straps/ropes, so you can hang them without making much of an effort (if you get one of these, you may not even need to read the rest of this guide).
Ratchet Strap Swing
Exactly as they sound, these are among the most practical you can get. By just tying them to the tree trunks, you can get that swinging working.
What sets them apart is the ratchet that tightens up and anchors to trees super quickly. You won’t have to stick with a permanent swing when one of these makes it a piece of cake to get up and down.
Regular Swing with Eyebolts & Straps
An eyebolt gets into the tree trunk and works as an anchor. You can then attach any type of swing to this anchor using the eye (hole) in the bolt.
This method is practical because it looks minimalistic and saves a lot of effort. But the downside comes from its weight capacity, as the bolt can’t typically withstand more than a child or teenager before it detaches from the tree.
Rope Swing with Knots
Nothing like a swing made of rope that you can tie around the trunk or branches. It is a piece of cake to use and attach. More importantly, it can withstand A LOT of weight.
You’ll have to figure out what knot to use to hang a swing, but it is barely something to worry about. As long as you’re using a sufficiently sturdy rope (nylon or high-quality fabric), even a simple but sturdy knot will suffice.
Beams or Poles
If you don’t want to use ropes or straps, you can also go for the beam/pole method.
This one consists of anchoring a pole between the two trees. Secure it with ropes and/or straps. Maybe even drill the bar in using clamps and the like.
Then you’ll have a pole or beam straight across the trees. This would make it a no-brainer to attach a swing or several ones.
You can use any type of swing, which is even better, from regular rope ones to playground-style models made of metal.
What Trees to Pick?
This is an essential question because hanging a swing isn’t a totally safe experience. So picking suitable trees will be crucial.
Luckily, there are MANY different tree species to consider. Given the trees look healthy, aren’t small trees, and have thick enough trunks/branches, you’ll have little to nothing to worry about.
Having said that, here are some tree species to consider:
If you see any tree with diseases or broken trunks/branches, then be careful. It’s vital to prevent any breakage later on, especially if the swing is for children.
At the same time, make sure it is a mature tree. You don’t want to use a growing tree with thin branches/trunk that eventually rips apart.
And lastly, check that the trees are sufficiently close together so you can use them safely. If they are too far (over 10 feet away), you probably shouldn’t use them for the swing. Similarly, if they’re too far (less than 3 feet), it could also be dangerous.
Location of the Trees
You wouldn’t install a swing beside a wooden deck with a pergola or pool cabana, right? Or would you?
Regardless of your answer, it’s vital to know what locations are worth considering and which aren’t.
Below, you’ll find a few safety and convenience factors to consider regarding the location of the swing:
- Make sure you have at least 3 feet of open space around the trees. You don’t want the person swinging to hit objects or structures and harm themselves. This includes fences, decks, and walls.
- Leave at least 2 feet of space between the swing and the two trees. Just like other structures and objects, it’s worth keeping the swing away from the trunks and branches to prevent less likely to cause accidents.
- Below the swing area (landing zone), there shouldn’t be any debris, rocks, water, roots, stumps, and/or unwanted structures. Any hazard could potentially cause severe damage to the person. Preferably, make sure it is sand, dirt, concrete, or grass.
If you can ensure these things, there’s a high chance you’ll have a smooth experience both installing and using the swing.
Step-by-Step: Hanging A Swing Between Two Trees
Given there are various swing types, we’re giving you a heads-up on how to install each one accordingly. Check them out:
How to Install a Spider Swing
This is as easy as you can think of. Most of these swings come with their own ropes and hanging hooks, so they are a piece of cake to install, to say the least.
Having said that, you may still need some help setting them up. Follow these steps:
- Grab one of the rope or strap ends and pass it around the trunk/branch.
- Use your favorite knot to tie it up and tighten.
- Then grab the other end and do the same on the other side.
- Check how far the swing from the floor (it should be no less than 3 feet regardless of who’s using it).
- If yes, then you’ve successfully installed the spider swing. Otherwise, you may need to adjust the ropes/straps as needed (untie them and release or loosen), then repeat steps 2 to 4.
How to Install a Ratchet Strap Swing
This is a bit more complicated yet still easy. You just need to focus on tightening up that ratchet well enough to loosen over time.
Here’s a brief guide on how to do so:
- Start by attaching the ratchet strap to the trunk/branches. If the swing is separated from the strap, leave the chair/swing on the side.
- Now measure how far you want the swing to be from each tree. And then measure the amount of strap you’ll need accordingly.
- Grab the strap and tie it up around the part of the tree and then use the ratchet to tighten. It’s essential to tighten hard enough, so the ratchet ends up close to the tree.
- Once you finish with the first strap, attach the other to the other tree. Be sure to measure and tighten the same way.
- Finish by attaching the swing to the straps and try it up.
How to Install a Swing with Eyebolt & Straps
This is probably the most straightforward, giving you won’t have to tie around branches or trunks. But it requires you to be extra careful, especially with the eyebolt.
You will also need a hammer for this.
Once you’ve gathered the hammer and the gear (straps, swing, eyebolt), proceed with these steps:
- Grab the eyebolt and find a sturdy area of the tree to hammer it down. It’s recommended to nail the bolt in the trunk, as it is a more reliable area. This area should also be bark-free and preferably healthy (solid).
- Before nailing the bolt down, be sure it is at the right height. This should be the sum of the straps’ length and the height you want the swing to hang. As a general rule, 7-10 feet is tall enough.
- Then proceed to nail the eyebolt into the wood. Use the hammer, obviously. Once done, go to the other tree and do the same. Be sure it is at the same height (no more than half a foot in height difference).
- Once both eyebolts are hooked to the trees, you can attach the straps to the eyebolt. This is typically using the hooks on the straps or tying them using the eye (hole).
- After attaching the straps, install the swing and test. If you need to bring the swing up or down, a bit of loosening/tightening of the traps will suffice.
How to Install a Rope Swing
This is probably the easiest of all, especially if you’re using a typical rope.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Grab one of the ends of the rope swing and pass it around the trunk/branch you want to use as an anchor.
- Tighten the rope up and secure it. Then proceed to pass the rope across on the other tree and repeat the same process.
- Remember to measure the length of the rope well so you can place the swing in-between with no trouble.
- Attach the swing (if it isn’t already) and try it up. If it needs any fix, then shorten or release the ropes as necessary. Tighten and secure once again.
How to Install a Pole/Beam Swing
This is the hardest of all. If you’re thinking of proceeding with the beam or pole method, you will have to prepare several tools.
- A hammer
- A marker or knife
- A beam or pole (large enough to reach both trees at the same time)
- Rope, bolts, or clamps
Once you’ve gathered these tools, here’s how to proceed:
- Start by measuring the distance you want between each strap, calculating where the swing will rest once you install everything.
- Now use the marker or a knife to mark where you’re placing the beam/pole. Make sure you can install it in a straight horizontal position to prevent balance issues later on.
- Proceed to secure the beam with the trunks/branches. It’s worth using clamps over ropes. But ropes will do well, especially if they come with ratchets and/or brackets to get secured.
- It is vital to test how sturdily the pole/beam stands. You don’t want it to move much. Preferably, it stays completely still. Try hanging from it and see whether it can support your weight. If it does without moving much, then you’ve done a great job.
- After securing the pole, you can now attach the swing. You should try to connect at the same distance you measured before. Be sure to tighten up the straps/ropes well before testing it.
- Once you’re done attaching the swing, you can proceed to test it. Be sure the beam/pole doesn’t move much, and that’s it. Adjust the swing height as necessary to finish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Have some doubts still? Don’t worry. We may answer them below:
How thick should a tree branch be for a swing?
The general rule is something sturdy enough to handle at least 200 pounds of weight. That often means at least 5 inches in diameter.
How thick rope for tree swing?
There’s no estimate here, as most ropes are thick enough to handle a swing. Having said that, make sure it is not paracord or other types of fragile ropes.
How much does a swing set cost?
A swing set is cheap. You won’t need to pay more than a hundred bucks for one.
So, what are you thinking?
Once you learn to hang swing between two trees, there’s no time to lose.
Get out there, gather your tools and gear, and make that swing happen.
Follow our advice and instructions for a more pleasant experience!