Basic Information

The construction process of a tree house can essentially be broken down into the following nine steps:

  1. Set up pulley and safety systems and cut primary ropes for knots to length
  2. Pull up and tie on primary beams and set up fall protection over primary beams
  3. Pull secondary beams onto platform
  4. Place and fix secondary beams and set up fall protection over secondary beams
  5. Pull up and fix stair frames and footbridge beams
  6. Pull up, distribute, and nail on floor boards
  7. Pull up and tie in top and bottom railing and railing poles
  8. Set up roll-through protection and dismantle pulley and safety systems and fall protection
  9. Prepare and build roof structure and install roof
Construction Process

Background Information

Structural Concept

A treehouse is built with one or more platforms. The simplest type of platform being one with four trees as fixed points. The primary beams are attached to two trees which are parallel to each other. A knot technique called "lashing knot" is used for fixing. From primary beam to primary beam a second layer of beams is laid, which are called secondary beams. These are only fixed provisionally, since a floor layer is nailed over the secondary beams, which finally fixes them. The platforms are surrounded by a two-layer railing, which is also tied to the trees with lashing knots. The roof is created with tent sheets in such a way that it can be quickly lowered during storms.

The trees are not damaged by the construction, because the connections to the trees are made by lashing knots.The knots are described in further detail here. The system is stiffened by the trees as cantilever supports. The trees have defied storm after storm for years, nevertheless the health of the trees should be checked before construction. More about this here. As long as the trees are not thinner than the actual beams, it can be assumed that the trees are sufficiently load-bearing. In addition, the treehouse should not be used during severe storms. The essential and decisive components should be measured in a static calculation. Most important are the components which have the highest span width and the highest load absorption width and thus the highest load. If necessary, the structure can be simplified and reinforced, staying on the safe side so that a simple and generally valid verification can be achieved for such components.

For an optimal execution, it is important to consider many important planning elements: how many people can be used for which tasks, which work can be carried out simultaneously, and which parts of the project require significant amounts of time, such as linking the roofing membranes. In general it can be said that the structure of the process can be more flexible and the participants can be more easily distributed among the tasks towards the end of the building process. At the beginning especially it is important to be able to provide everyone with tasks to create a good work ethic.


CVJM-Akademie gGmbH
Institut für Erlebnispädagogik
Im Dru­sel­tal 8
34131 Kassel

Tele­fon: + 49 (0) 561 30 87–506
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Funded by Erasmus+ "Youth in Action"

The website and the content was developed in the project "Treehouse Camps - a Method to Strengthen Key Competences and Integration in Youth Work".

Project duration: September 2018 - August 2021