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Tree house

For other uses, see Tree house (disambiguation).

Tree houses or tree forts are platforms or buildings con-

A tree house in the park of the Chteau de Langeais in the Loire

Valley, France

structed around, next to or among the trunk or branches of

one or more mature trees while above ground level. Tree
houses can be used for recreation, work space, habitation, A stairway and roundwalk
observation or as temporary retreats.

2 Support methods and new technology


There are numerous techniques to fasten the structure to

the tree which seek to minimize tree damage.[2]

Practical uses

The construction of modern tree houses usually starts

with the creation of a rigid platform, on which the house
will be placed; the platform will lean (possibly on the corners) on the branches.[3] In case there arent enough suitable supports, the methods to support the platform are:

Tree houses are built usually by people for leisure purposes, also for protection from wild animals. In some
parts of the tropics, houses are either fastened to trees
or elevated on stilts to keep the living quarters above
the ground to protect occupants and stored food from
scavenging animals. The Korowai, a Papuan tribe in the
Struts and stilts
southeast of Irian Jaya, live in tree houses, some nearly
40 metres (130 ft) high, as protection against a tribe of Struts and stilts are used for relieving weights on a lower
neighbouring head-hunters, the Citak.[1]
elevation or straight to the ground; Tree houses supported
Along with subterranean and ground level houses, tree by stilts weigh much less on the tree and help to prehouses are an option for building eco-friendly houses in vent stress, potential strain, and injury caused by puncremote forest areas, because they do not require a clearing ture holes.[4] Stilts are typically anchored into the ground
of a certain area of forest. The wildlife, climate and illu- with concrete although new designs, such as the Diamination on ground level in areas of dense close-canopy mond Pier, accelerates installation time and they are less
forest is not desirable to some people.
invasive for the root system.[5] Stilts are considered the


easiest method of supporting larger tree houses, and can United States and parts of Europe.[9] This has been due
also increase structural support and safety.
to increased disposable income, better technology for
builders, research into safe building practices and an
increased interest in environmental issues, particularly
Stay rods
sustainable living.
Stay rods are used for relieving weights on a higher elevation. These systems are particularly useful to control
movements caused by wind or tree growth, however they
are the used less often, due to the natural limits of the
systems. Higher elevation and more branches tailing o
decreases capacity and increases wind sensibility.[6] As
building materials for hanging are used ropes, wire cables, tension fasteners, springs etc.
Friction and tension fasteners
Friction and tension fasteners are the most common non
invasive methods of securing tree houses. They do not
include nails, screws and bolts. Its all about gripping the
beams to the trunk by means of counter-beam, threaded
bars or tying.
Invasive methods
Invasive methods are all methods that use nails, screws,
bolts, kingpins, etc. Because these methods require punctures in the tree, they have to be planned properly in order
to minimize stress.[7] Not all species of plants suer from
puncture in the same way, depending partly on whether
the sap conduits run in the pith or in the bark. Nails are
generally not recommended.[8] A new development called
the treehouse attachment bolt (TAB) can support greater
weights than earlier methods.


Increased popularity has, in turn, given rise to demand

for businesses covering all building and design work for
clients. There are over 30 businesses in Europe and the
USA[10] specializing in the construction of tree houses of
various degrees of permanence and sophistication, from
childrens play structures to fully functioning homes.

4 Building regulations
Many areas of the world have no specic planning laws
for tree houses, so the legal issues can be confusing
to both the builder and the local planning departments.
Treehouses can be exempt, partially regulated or fully
regulated depending on the locale.
In some cases, tree houses are given exemption from normal building regulations, as they are not considered to be
buildings in the normal sense of the word. An exemption
may be given to a builder if the tree house is in a remote
or non-urban location. Alternatively, a tree house may
be included in the same category as structures such as
garden sheds, sometimes called a temporary structure.
There may be restrictions on height, distance from boundary and privacy for nearby properties. There are various
grey areas in these laws, as they were not specically designed for tree-borne structures. A very small number
of planning departments have specic regulations for tree
houses, which set out clearly what may be built and where.
For precaution of safety during the tree house construction, it is usually best to do as much work as possible on
the ground and also concerned be about its long-term viability.

5 Protest communities

Treehouse at the Alnwick Gardens in the United Kingdom, with

walkways through the tree canopy

Since the mid-1990s, recreational tree houses have enjoyed a rise in popularity in countries such as the

The tree house has been central to various environmental protest communities around the world, in a technique known as tree sitting. This method may be used
in protests against proposed road building or old growth
forestry operations. Tree houses are used as a method
of defence from which it is dicult and costly to safely
evict the protesters and begin work. Julia Buttery Hill
is a particularly well known tree sitter who occupied a
Californian Redwood for 738 days, saving the tree and
others in the immediate area. Her accommodation consisted of two 3m2 (29 sq ft) platforms 60 m (200 ft) above
the ground.[11]
Tree houses

Tree houses built by the Korowai people in Papua,
New Guinea

[3] Garden Tree House Design. Cheeky Monkey Tree

Houses. Retrieved 22 March 2013.

Korowai Treehouse

[4] Tree injury. Retrieved 2011-05-12.

Tree house built for children

[5] Diamond Pier. Retrieved 2011-05-12.

Non invasive method of xing a tree platform

[6] Bahamon, Alejandro (2007). Treehouses Living a Dream.

New York, NY: Collins Design. p. 8. ISBN 0-06078001-0.

A treehouse in Marayur, Kerala, India[1]

1. ^ List of Treehouses in Kerala, India.

[7] friction fastening advice. Retrieved 2011-05-12.

[8] Danger of nails. Retrieved 2011-05-12.

See also
Chne chapelle
Fab Tree Hab a house made of living trees at MIT
Out'n'About a tree house oriented bed and breakfast in Cave Junction, Oregon

[9] Henderson, Paula; Adam Mornement (2005). Treehouses.

London, UK: Frances Lincoln Ltd. p. 7. ISBN 0-71122437-4.
[10] Commercial treehouse builder list. Retrieved 2007-1120.
[11] Henderson, Paula; Adam Mornement (2005). Treehouses.
London, UK: Frances Lincoln Ltd. p. 65. ISBN 0-71122437-4.

Stilt house
Tree climbing


A spiral stairway leading to a treehouse

[1] Head-Hunters Drove Papuan Tribe Into Tree-Houses

[2] Architecture Thesis, bachelor degree.

8 External links
Media related to Buildings in trees at Wikimedia


Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



Tree house Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree%20house?oldid=635290321 Contributors: Marj Tiefert, Heron, Mintguy, GTBacchus, Wetman, Rdikeman, Altenmann, Paddyez, Saucepan, Trevor MacInnis, Discospinster, Deirdre, Pradiptaray, Violetriga, Longhair,
Pearle, Gary, Walter Grlitz, Keenan Pepper, Droob, Rwendland, Bubr, Woohookitty, RHaworth, Mb1000, Graham87, Rjwilmsi,
Vegaswikian, Pevernagie, Ncnever, Bjwebb, DVdm, YurikBot, Peregrine Fisher, DanMS, Someones life, Haemo, Ms2ger, E tac, Zzuuzz, Closedmouth, GraemeL, Fsiler, SmackBot, Grazon, ZS, Kungming2, Scwlong, Addshore, Jotamar, Acidburn24m, SilkTork, A.
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Mycroft7, CommonsDelinker, Langrel, Majoreditor, Beechhouse, SieBot, Caltas, Gg aa oo, Denisarona, Mythidiot, Martarius, ClueBot,
Mild Bill Hiccup, Hafspajen, Tnxman307, Wildbill1240, XLinkBot, Turkey23, Asidemes, Duttler, Lpele, CanadianLinuxUser, GreenGlass1972, , Willondon, Yobot, Annehammel, Jim1138, Ulric1313, Xqbot, JimVC3, Anna Frodesiak, GrouchoBot, Armbrust, Brutaldeluxe, Another disinterested reader, FrescoBot, LucienBOT, Creando sensaciones, Stephen Morley, Pinethicket, Tinton5, MondalorBot,
Murix1000, GuilloOme, Hmmwhatsthisdo, Look2See1, Adamhamdouchi, Ramon FVelasquez, Djembayz, John Cline, Ziva David, Steelsandals, Eniagrom, Kilopi, Rcsprinter123, L Kensington, ClueBot NG, JohnBuseyWood, JimsMaher, Bped1985, Millermk, Delusion23,
Widr, Helpful Pixie Bot, DBigXray, Pgiord1987, BG19bot, Northamerica1000, MusikAnimal, Treehousedweller, YVSREDDY, Abelincon56, Blueforest-treehouse, EuroCarGT, Pjstudio, Treehouse1, Tree321123, Coleawesome9, Mogism, Jacupus, Lugia2453, JHUbal27,
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