There's nothing quite like a tree house for playing and dreaming the summer away. The combination of fresh air, foliage, privacy, kids-only exclusivity is irresistible! Every child dreams of having a tree house in their back yard; if you are lucky enough to have the space (and the right kind of tree) for a tree house, or even just a tree swing, CLIF Kid has partnered with Living Tree to bring you some Tree House Tips to get started on building a tree house or tree swing, so kids can enjoy the countless hours of fresh air and fun playtime nature has to offer:
Building tree houses and tree swings are wonderful ways for your family to enjoy what a tree has to offer. CLIF Kid, maker of organic snacks for active kids, and Jonathan Fairoaks, an ISA Certified Arborist and founder of Living Tree, a tree house design studio that strives to preserve and protect trees, share tips on how to prepare for building and enjoying a tree house or tree swing:
TIP #1: A tree house, plus the kids who play in it, can be a lot of weight for your tree. When constructing a tree house, THE SIZE AND TYPE OF TREE must be taken into consideration. Even with the largest trees, keep houses under 3,600 pounds to avoid damage.
TIP #2: Trees can move and grow a lot after a tree house is built. When building a tree house, it’s important to accommodate for a TREE’S GROWTH. Keep platforms and supports 2-3" from branches and trunks and follow a building plan that suspends your tree house securely within the tree’s branches so that it can move independently of the tree.
TIP #3: ROPE SWINGS AND TIRE SWINGS are a fun addition. Use a braided arborist rope ½" or greater in diameter and use a running bowline knot to hang your swing − your tree will thank you.
TIP #4: THE BEST TREES TO USE FOR TREE HOUSES are Oaks, Maples, Beeches and Sycamores because they all have long lifetimes and strong branches to support a tree house.
TIP #5: BARK is like a tree’s skin, protecting it from diseases and bugs. When building a tree house, avoid damaging the tree’s bark by using fixtures specially designed for tree houses. Using artificial limb supports and avoiding the concentration of support points in one area will ensure both the tree and your tree house stay sturdy.
TIP #6: Before you start construction, make sure the tree is healthy enough to support your tree house or swing – a certified arborist from the International Society of Arboriculture can come EVALUATE YOUR TREE to determine if it can support a house and if the tree needs pruning, deep root feeding or support cabling for optimum health.
CLIF Kid and Living Tree are committed to making outdoor experiences fun and safe for kids, their families and the environment. If you are a tree house beginner, Living Tree recommends Peter Nelson’s book Home Tree Home: Principles of Treehouse Construction and other Tall Tales for safe plans that can help build the ultimate tree house. To learn more about CLIF Kid and Living Tree, visit www.ClifKid.com and www.LivingTreeOnline.com.
Win an assortment of CLIF Kid snacks
Two lucky Bonggamom Finds winners will each receive a box of 1 dozen assorted CLIF Kid snacks (a combo of Original Zbar, Zbar Crispy and Zfruit (formerly Twisted Fruit)!
Leave a comment on this post and tell me why your child would love a tree house in his back yard! This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Add the Bonggamom Finds blog button to your sidebar (1 entry).
2) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).
3) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the CLIF Kid giveaway! http://ow.ly/5QSXv
4) Follow @bonggafinds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):
Two winners will receive a box of assorted CLIF Kid snacks! Enter at @bonggafinds http://ow.ly/5QSXv #giveaways
5) Leave a comment on this post and tell me your child's favorite CLIF Kid product.
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on August 15, 2011; I will draw two winners at random on August 16 and post their names after they confirm acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Program information is provided by CLIF Kid and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.