What Size Tree Limb Is Good for Hanging a Tire Swing?

Written by samantha kemp
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What Size Tree Limb Is Good for Hanging a Tire Swing?
Make sure your tire swing is sturdy. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Remember those days as a child when you would gleefully swing on a tire and maybe even make a huge splash in the lake? Recapture the essence of your childhood by making your own tire swing. Before you get started, you must find the perfect tree with the perfect limb that will ensure safety for the children.

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Type of Tree

Before you attach a tire swing to a tree, you must make sure that you pick a tree that has strong, sturdy branches. Two good options are oak or sugar maple trees. Other sturdy trees fit for a tire swing include ash, cherry or walnut trees. Make sure the tree is healthy and void of any rotting or deadwood.

Height

The limb for your tire swing should be about 10 feet from the ground. This height gives enough space for the rope to swing but is not far enough off the ground to be dangerous.

Width

The tree limb must also be thick enough to support the weight of the swinger and the added momentum from the swinging movement. The diameter of the limb should be at least 10 inches. The thicker the branch is, the more likely it is to hold up to the weight demands.

Location

The tree that holds the tire swing should be in an isolated location. It should be in an area where there are no other trees or bushes nearby, to prevent any injury to the person who is swinging on the tree. Low branches on the tree should be removed before anyone swings from the tree.

Shape

The tree limb should have a specific shape to be suitable for a tire swing. It should run parallel to the ground so that the trunk and limb form an L-shape. It should not have any downward dips that will affect the swing's arc.

Other Considerations

Picking the right size, location and type of tree will help you make a safe swing, but the materials you pick are just as important. Use a chain to hang your swing rather than a rope that can fray. Drill a hole through the middle of the limb and add a 12-inch eyebolt in the hole. Secure the eyebolt with a washer and two nuts so that you can attach your rope with the support of the eyebolt and prevent the chain from scraping away the tree's bark. Drill three equidistant holes on the flat part of the tire. Add eyebolts in the holes, secured with a nut, lock washer and fender washer. Connector links connect the eyebolts to the chain. Add a connecting hook between the chain that is attached to the tree and the chains attached to your tire. Any additional materials you use, such as a wooden seat, should be weather-resistant. Periodically check the size of your tree and relocate the swing if you notice any damage or rotting in the tree.

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