How to Build an Easy Tree Seat

tree image by Igor Druzhinskiy from

Building a bench around any garden or landscape is common for those wanting to spruce up property. One of the most neglected seating options is around trees. Iron or plastic benches are nice, but a tree provides a natural area for seating while complementing your landscape. With just a few simple steps, any large tree can be a comfortable backrest.

Pick a tree suitable and sturdy enough to sustain a tree seat. Choose a hardwood that is large enough to offer a shady, cool spot. Don’t pick a tree too large to build around or one that is dead. Picking a tree that doesn't have large roots above ground will make constructing the seat much easier.

Cut off low hanging branches and rake around the trunk of the tree, removing any large rocks.

Dig leg holes to place the bench rests 15 to 20 inches from each other on all sides of the tree trunk with posthole diggers. The holes should be at least a foot deep. If building a square or rectangular seat, two legs on each side of the trunk will suffice. Different designs may call for more or less legs. For example, hexagonal seats may only need four legs. Use 4 inch x 4 inch boards that have been treated with a sealer to prevent water damage and warping over time.

Cut the legs at 30 inches with a power saw, to fit in the hole. Adjust the height to fit how high you want the bench to set up. Mix concrete together and fill in the hole around the legs. Make sure the legs are completely level before allowing the concrete to dry. Allow 24 hours for the cement to set fully.

Cut eight pieces of 1 x 2 inch timber to be used as crossbars. These will help in holding the legs together. Drill a hole in the crossbars and screw them to each of the posts.

Measure the distance that each seat board needs to be and cut the wood at the desired length. The length all depends on the specific design. Hexagonal seating will require more pieces of wood at shorter lengths, while square designs only require 4 slats of longer lumber. Make sure there is some overhang between the post and the end of each seating board. Screw the boards to the leg posts.

Paint the placed boards and legs with either an outdoor paint or a wood stain. Staining the material will create a more natural look. Add a backrest to the tree by drilling in boards above the seating. However, in most cases the tree becomes the preferred backrest.

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