How to tie a rope swing to a tree

Updated June 18, 2018

If you have a large, sturdy, hardwood tree in your landscape, such as an oak or bay, you can use one of the tree's sturdy branches to secure a rope and hang a rope swing. Soft-wooded trees such as mimosas might break under the strain. Installing and tying a rope swing will provide shady recreation for your family. The swing's seat can be anything from an old tire to an elaborately designed piece of wood.

Measure the area from the branch to the ground. Double that figure, and add approximately 12 inches to that, to get an idea of how much rope you need. Use a braided, polypropylene rope that is 5/8- to 3/4-inch in diameter. This rope is trongest and can handle approximately 133 Kilogram.

Inspect the selected branch for any cracks or damaged areas that might indicate weakness. Select a sturdy branch that is strong enough to hold weight without breaking or cracking.

Tie a weighted object such as a rock to a roll of thin cording or string. Tie the rock securely.

Pull out at least 10 feet of string, and toss the rock and string over the branch. Hold the string so that it easily dispenses off the roll, allowing enough string to dispense so that rock will hang within your reach. Cut the string from the roll, allowing the loose end to hang.

Fold the rope for the swing in half. Tie the loose end of the string to the rope's centre where it folds in half, creating a loop.

Pull the rock end of the string towards the ground, pulling the rope up and over the branch. Continue pulling the rope down until it is approximately at the height of your head. Remove the rock and string from the rope.

Insert the two loose ends of the rope through the loop in the centre section of the rope. Pull evenly on the two loose ends, pulling the looped section towards branch. Continue pulling until the looped, centre section tightly wraps around the branch and locks in place.

Tug on the ropes with all your strength, testing the rope for strength and branch for sturdiness.

Insert one of the loose ends of rope through the opening in your swing seat. Pull approximately 1 foot through to the other side. Tie the rope off with a double knot and melt the end with the flame from a lighter, securing the knot and keeping the rope from unravelling. Repeat this process with the remaining rope end. Check that the swing's seat is level before tying off and melting the rope.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Polypropylene rope
  • Rock
  • String
  • Cording
  • Lighter
  • Swing seat
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About the Author

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.