Tree swings used to be a thing of past or something quaint you spotted while shopping for a new home. Most people passed them off and left backyard tree swings largely unused. If you or your kids really wanted to swing, there was usually a park of a playground nearby.
However, these days we are seeing more and more families staying home and looking to their own backyard for entertainment. For properties blessed with one or more mature trees, the tree swing is enjoying a vigorous renaissance.
Depending on the size and materials you might be able to build your own tree swing or buy one for very little money out of pocket. It can be a great family project or simply something you surprise your kids or even your spouse with.
Choosing The Right Tree For A Tree Swing
Obviously not all trees are going to be the right size and strength to support a tree swing. Especially if you are planning to hang multiple tree swings or you are thinking about hanging a family bench tree swing.
Ideally, you want to look for a hardwood tree with sprawling branches. This includes trees like burr oak, maple hornbeam, sycamore, or even a beechwood tree. The more weight you expect the swing to bear, the more robust the tree limb will need to be.
Testing The Tree Limb
Of course, just because a mature tree limb looks robust, doesn’t mean it’s truly capable of supporting a lot of human weight in the long term. Some trees like maple have a knack for breaking branches in a strong storm or cracking limbs when shocked by a sudden amount of weight.
Taking a few extra minutes to test the strength of the tree limb will go a long way toward preventing a future injury. If possible, you could try to look a cargo ratchet strap around the limb. Then connect it and add weight. If your planned tree swing will only hold a single person you could have that person stand on the bottom of the ratchet loop. Then add another 20% of weight to the strap to see how well the limb holds. If there isn’t a lot of creaking and cracking, then chances are good it will be strong enough to confidently support your tree swing.
The Most Popular Tree Swing Concepts
You might be surprised to hear that there are a lot of different types of tire swings out there. Some are steeped in tradition, while others are little more than a board tied between two ropes. While there are no hard and fast rules about tire swings the following are some of the more popular concepts you’ll find around the country.
How To Attach A Tree Swing Safely
Whether you are installing a large bench swing for the family or a single-seater swing for your five-year-old child, you need to make sure that it’s going to hold in place on the tree limb for the long haul. Rather than trying to bolt a chain or rope through the limb, it’s better to wrap an attachment around the limb.
Even if it’s a pair of heavy-duty ratchet straps with extra tow hooks. That way the stress is distributed around the exterior of the tree limb rather than damaging the living wood, which could also compromise the structural integrity of the branch, causing a catastrophic break.
The Classic Tire Swing
The classic tire swing is something you can do yourself. You will however need an old tire, which might be harder to come across than you think. These days a lot of old, replacement tires are recycled when you purchase a new one. So, you might want to talk to the service technicians at the tire center. Even if you’re not getting new tires, they might be able to point you in the right direction for one you can get on the cheap.
When it comes to assembling the tire swing you have two options. The first is to mount the tire vertically. This calls for a single swing rope that’s wrapped around the top of the tire and tied firmly in place. The problem here is that the hole the tire allows for someone to sit in can a little tight. It’s also a bit of a headache to get into.
The more popular option is to mount the tire horizontally. Then you can connect three chains or heavy-duty ropes to a central pivot point, which then runs on a single anchor line to the overhead tree limb. This set up tends to be easier to get in and out of, and it also provides more seat space. With a large enough tire, you could possibly seat three children.
You can usually buy the tire swing mounting kit online or at a box retail hardware store for relatively cheap. Whatever mounting method you choose, make sure to drill a few holes in the bottom of the tire to give rainwater a place to run out.
There is also a more modernized version of the horizontal tire swing that replaces the tire with a padded circular frame. Then the inside is filled with a rope spider web or a disk. It saves you having to worry about sourcing a clean tire and arguably looks better in the backyard.
- Upgrade Braided Ropes & Adjustable Height: Increase the load capacity up to 500lbs/226kg. Adjustable length from 47''/120cm to 71''/180cm
- Durable & Dependable: Soft foam padded steel frame, durable, weatherproof, water and UV resistant Textilene fabric and strong braided ropes make sure the saucer tree swing is durable. Ensure hours of fun and years of play in your own backyard, playground or park
- Swing Set Accessories: The Giant Swing is designed to be added to a swingset, trees, jungle gym, or other outdoor playset. Your children will love this seating addition; it also makes a great birthday gift idea
- Tire swing fits up to three children; tire diameter is approximately 27”
- Swing chains are approximately 66" long; bottom 30" of chain is coated in yellow plastisol for a soft, pinch-free grip
- PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS: Tire Swing is pre-drilled with 3 evenly spaced small holes on the top side for the placement of swing chains and 4 larger holes on the bottom side to allow for the drainage of water. DO NOT attempt to connect the chains to the side with four holes; flip the tire over to locate the 3 smaller, holes for the connection of the swing chains.
- PREMIUM QUALITY: FAST AND FREE SHIPPING. The Safari Swing kids rubber tire swing set is constructed with top grade components.
- WHATS INCLUDED: 1 rubber tire, 3 eye bolts, three 6' long plastic coated chains and a quick link. Complete set to get you swinging!
- SUPER SAFE: Supports up to 500 Lbs so adults can join the fun too! Our plastic coated chains are safe and easy to grip so you can enjoy your swing and have fun all at the same time!
- 【900D Oxford Fabric】PACEARTH 40” 900D saucer tree swing flying has greater load-bearing capacity than other 600D oxford fabric swings. It has longer life with anti-aging feature and is softer, more wearable & ductile. Its high quality meets UV test and safety requirements with quality engineering.
- 【Upgraded Braided Ropes】Unlike other common ropes,PACEARTH nest swing ropes have solved the ropes' vulnerability problem. We use upgraded multiple strands braided ropes, the load capacity of which is 660lb, higher than others'.Our swing ropes ensure the security when you enjoy swinging.
- ★ Whether you prefer to sit or stand, SUPER DEAL delightfully fun tree swing can support up to 660 pounds on a resilient nest of hand-braided spider webbing. It provides a roomy nest for a kid- and even a couple of friends - to lay back, sway, and spot cloud shapes.
- ★ 100% safe and comfortable ride. This extra-large oval frame is made of sturdy steel wrapped in padding and durable braided plastic rope. Durable polypropylene rope creates a spider-web like netting with comfortable support. Highest quality and adheres to strict safety requirements with quality engineering including a padded steel frame and super strong 71''nylon webbing, the diameter of this Round Web Tree Swing is 40'' , which is large enough for multiple children to swing and play together.
The Classic Single Bench Swing
The single-seater bench swing is another one of the most popular tree swing options. It is more popular with children than adults. Just bear in mind that the old 2×4 that your grandparents were happy with, probably won’t suffice for today’s children who are used to a larger seated swing.
This is another swing you can do yourself for relatively cheap. You can even make a seat out of a 2×6 brown-treated pine board. Just be sure to sand it smooth to prevent splinters! With the board prepped and the dual anchors in place, you just drill a hole at either end of the plant. Run your rope or chain through the hole and secure it with a large washer and a robust nut, or a large knot that won’t pull back through the hole.
If you want a more comfortable option, there are online retailers and box hardware stores that sell flexible and rigid swing kits.
2 used from $16.55
- EASY TO USE: Tree Swing Hanging Kit Fits all swing types. Use it to hang all types of swings, patio swings, porch swings, hanging chairs, baby carrier swings, porch swings and much more. Both straps can be installed in under 5 minutes. No drilling or tools needed. Straps also work with any size hammock and fit. It comes with a convenient carrying pouch so you can bring your straps with you anywhere. Super Bear Power Straps are easily portable - take them with you camping, back packing, wherever.
5 used from $23.49
- 【Enjoy Your Spare Time with 660lb Capacity Swing Seat】 PACEARTH Swing Seat is designed for residential use, which can be hung from a beam or tree limb and is suitable both for children and adults. Compare to other swing sets of 300 lbs weight limit,our swing seat replacement load capacity is two times greater of them and reaches 660 lbs. So just rest assured on our tree swings for kids & adults.
11 used from $56.64
- INDOOR&OUTDOOR WOOD TREE SWING:Our wood tree swing designed with a Non - slip ridged seat & raised sides.120cm - 180cm adjustable rope,galvanized metal rings and fitting Also can be hung from a tree branch or a beam.Brightly coloured wooden swing seat for adult and children offers fun,quality and great value.
- HIGH QUALITY:Natural wooden material provides you with security and comfort.Painting on the surface of the wood swing seat can protect it from moldy before you play outside.The wood tree swing with 180cm adjustable rope galvanized metal ring and accessories,easily be hung on the branch or beam.Max load weight:100kg,seat size:45x20x1.6cm/17.7x7.9x0.6 inch,Big swing chair seat fit for children and adults.It is very security for you and your family.
- DURABLE MATERIALS: The 4 foot strap is made of commercial grade nylon and is able to withstand harsh winters and brutal summers without showing signs of wear while the carabiner hook is made of industrial strength steel making it nearly indestructable.
- ENHANCED SAFETY FEATURES: Due to the high strength nylon we use in our tree swing kits, each strap holds up to 2200 pounds. With 2 straps that's 4400 lbs. 2 inches wide nylon straps are better than the 1.5 inches ones and to prevent the straps from coming off while swinging, we designed our carabiners to include a heavy duty screw lock.
- SAFETY BELT STRENGTH FOR YOUR KIDS: 10FT Long Heavy Duty Swing Tree Straps keeps everyone safer than fashion brands hangers. This is yellow polyester webbing you find on industrial all weather equipment.
- WITH 2x CARABINERS HOLDS AN ALASKAN MOOSE: We’ve included two extra strength Spinlock Carabiners with combined break strength of 2000lbs - (the weight of 10 men or one polar bear). Rust resistant Zinc Alloy Swing set anchors.
The Family Bench Swing
Now here we are getting into some more robust construction. So, you definitely need to go the whole nine yards testing the limb you hope to hang the tree from. Especially, if you have a heavy family member or two.
This is where the door for creativity starts to open up a little more. There are hardware stores and online retailers who sell bench swing specifically to be suspended. Though if you’re handy you might be able to take a bench swing, porch swing or bench glider, disconnect it from the hardware, and then connect it to the yoke of a swing chain.
If you’re looking for maximum comfort or just a tree swing you can relax in on a lazy day, there are also hammock swings. It’s just like a traditional hammock, but you don’t have to suspend it between two trees. You simply hang it from a single sturdy tree limb.
- ELEGANT DESIGN: This classic, eye-catching swing bench boasts a fleur-de-lis design in the center of its back for a touch of refined beauty
- COMPLEMENTS ANY OUTDOOR SETTING: Crafted with a sleek, rustic design sure to blend well with your home's porch or patio decor
- GREAT CONVERSATION PIECE: Lounge outside for some "you" time or hang out with a friend, as the bench can easily seat 2 people
- DURABLE COMPOSITION: Made of heavy-duty metal, this bench withstands the elements to resist rust buildup and last through the years
- [COLOR VARIANT] We provide several neutral color variant, fits beautifully with existing furniture arrangement.
- [STURDY & DURABLE] Made from solid mahogany wood and steel hardware to create a durable and sturdy furniture.
- [WEATHER RESISTANT] Our furniture are carefully crafted to withstand outdoor elements in classy polyurethane coating finish.
- [ERGONOMIC DESIGN] With a contoured seat and laid-back design to provide the maximum comfort and relaxing sway motion.
- Made from #1 kiln-dried pressure treated pine
- Rollback design contours to your body and is considered the most comfortable design available for swinging. Two side cupholders provide unobstructed use of the armrests.
- Authentic Amish handmade craftmanship. One inch thick slats attached by screws. Proudly Made in the USA. Our slats are routered (no sharp edges) and all sides and ends are for your safety and comfort.
- Made from #1 kiln-dried pressure treated pine. Rollback design contours to your body and is considered the most comfortable design available for swinging.
- Authentic Amish handmade craftsmanship. One inch thick slats attached by screws. Proudly Made in the USA. Our slats are routered (no sharp edges) and all sides and ends are for your safety and comfort.
- Swing comes with hanging chains. Ships partially assembled. Detailed instructions included. Add some hangers and comfort springs to complete your new swing. You can order the hanging kit here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K81SYMQ.
- The extra-wide swing cushions, positively plump with recycled polyester hollowfill fiber, are stitched from two layers of our own solution-dyed all-weather Sunbrella Fabric
- SUNBRELLA FABRIC - is the leader in outdoor fabric. It is 100% solution dyed acrylic, which means the fibers of the fabric are dyed in a color before they are woven into fabric. Sunbrella is not printed or dyed after the fabric is made.
Fun Tree Swing Concepts
Swing manufacturers are more than happy to play around with what a tree swing can be and how to make it fun. Especially for the kids. This includes things like lounger swings, airplane swings, and even basket swings that will fit more than one kid at a time.
4 used from $31.64
- Fun to Use – This new ultra fun disc swing with 3” leg protector is enhanced with (4) textured 4 inch platforms attached to a strong climbing rope which is gentle and soft for hands. This dual swing acts as both a swing and climber combination which encourages your kids to get outside for hours of fun playtime!
- Educational to Use - your kids' imagination will soar by learning useful skills such as climbing and swinging through the trees like a ninja as it encourages balance, coordination, imagination and confidence! It is also the perfect DIY home swingset accessory for any backyard playground or outdoor playhouse and a great complement to their climber ladder, monkey bars, stand swing, gym rings, climbing rocks holds, safety handles or tire swing swivel.
1 used from $37.99
- Seat belt to keep baby in place
- Steering wheel with horn for added fun
- Attaches easily to an existing swing set
- Attaches easily to swing set
- Max weight: 50 lbs
Royal Oak Giant 40" Saucer Tree Swing with Bonus Carabiners, Cover and Flags, 700 lb Weight Capacity
2 used from $82.79
- YEAR-ROUND FUN: Our giant 40 inches saucer swing with removable flags is popular among children and it's obvious why! Its unique design allows for exciting swinging year-round. Big enough for a single adult and/or multiple kids. It's always a hit at parties and guaranteed to produce roaring laughter and big smiles.
- ULTRA SAFE AND BUILT TO LAST: ASTM F963-11 and CPSIA section 101 (a)(2) approved. With a load rating of 700 lbs., this swing can handle multiple children at the same time. We take safety seriously and that's why we only use the strongest and safest materials around like 900D Oxford fabric with industry leading protective coating, no lead and an industrial strength steel frame.
Wooden Horse Toddler Swing Set - Baby Swing Outdoor & Indoor - Smooth Birch Wood with Natural Finish
- ECO-FRIENDLY AND SAFE MATERIALS - Our chemical-free toddler swing is carefully designed to be both environmentally friendly and completely safe for your little one. Constructed from all natural materials including untreated, smoothed wood and strong cotton ropes, this swinging horse is laboratory tested for compliance with the U.S. Children’s Product Certification guidelines.
- FUN AND SECURE SWING FOR TODDLER - This safe swing with bucket seat surrounds your baby or toddler with full support without sacrificing wiggle room. From the age of 6 months to 3 years old, our universal horse swing seat provides infants and children up to 44 pounds (20 kilograms) with a safe horse for your swing set. All edges are rounded and sanded for additional comfort and peace of mind.
- Durable construction: The glider swing seat is proudly made in the USA from a durable HDPE plastic that is designed to withstand the outdoor elements
- Ergonomic design: Ergonomic seat shape helps with comfort and support while increasing strength and coordination
- Safe design: our products are tested for safety and meet and/or exceed ASTM safety standards for backyard residential use only. The wide handholds and footholds will keep children secure and safe on every ride
2 used from $75.97
- VERSATILE - Any child or adult can hop on and soar away; Adjustable handles for any height; Great for a little one looking for a calm swing and for big kids looking for excitement; Best for ages 6 and up
- INNOVATIVE DESIGN - Unlike swings made of flat pieces of wood, Swurfer's unique, curved shape is engineered for more power, stability, and a wider range of motion; Each swingboard is individually shaped, sanded, and finished by hand for optimum quality
M&M Sales Enterprises Treadz Traditional Tire Swing, MM00140