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How to attach child's swing to sycamore?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by kevinz, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. kevinz

    kevinz ArboristSite Member

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    Any suggestions on the safest and least harmful way to attach a child's rope swing to a sycamore? Mine has a branch that's horizontal and about 5in in diameter about 15' out from the main trunk. Searching on 'swing' in this forum turned up one suggestion to just screw in steel eyebolts. Any better methods?

    Thanks for your advice and suggestions.

    -Kevin
     
  2. Job Corps Tree

    Job Corps Tree ArboristSite Operative

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    child's swing

    I have used an Eye Bolt through the limb attach to the eye on the bolt. the tree will grow around the bolt,eye on the bottom and a large flat washer on top, set the nut tight and Peen it over so it can't loosen up. far better than anything that wraps around the limb that can girdl it
     
  3. treevet

    treevet Banned

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    I would advise using a one piece cast eye bolt as opposed to hardware stuff. I have seen them bend open. The cast ones are galvanized.
     
  4. fubar2

    fubar2 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This may sound a bit funky, but if you use kind of an upside down hangmans noose over the limb drawn up tight it should not see saw and the rope should bend at the noose.
     
  5. D Mc

    D Mc ArboristSite Operative

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    Good thought but really bad idea. Whether it abraids or not that is too much pressure against the cambium.

    A through bolt is going to be the way to go. Won't hurt the tree. I would recommend getting something specifically for the purpose merely because you will have some strength ratings to fall back on and they are designed with bushings to prevent excessive wear.

    Do make sure that the limb you are considering is healthy and secure. Sycamores are plenty tough, but don't take anything for granted.

    http://www.byoswingset.com/swinharsetpa3.html

    Dave
     
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  6. treevet

    treevet Banned

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    [​IMG]

    This is the hardware I use and I put swings in quite often. Half inch thimble forced on to the eye. Downgraded half inch safety blue climbing. Tie bolens to each thimble/eye so the the one piece of rope is barely above ground. Shoulder width 2x6, drill 2 7/16 holes in each end and force the 2 pieces after cutting the rope as it hangs right in the middle. Slide 2x6 up to appropriate to children's height and secure on the bottom with a knot.

    With gas powered Tanaka drill installation time usually less than 20 minutes. If I am working the tree and already tied in above the limb, less time than that.
     
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  7. habanero

    habanero ArboristSite Guru

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    This talk of putting a bolt in a tree limb makes me cringe. I absolutely killed a chain last year hitting an eye bolt in a 20" log I was cutting. No sign it was there at all until the sparks flew. Found another one a few cuts away when I split it.

    Buy the kid a swingset and leave the poor tree alone...
     
  8. (WLL)

    (WLL) Banned

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    the cobra cable system has some great rope fer splicing up an awesome clean looking rope that belongs outside in the weather with a wll. i use long forged stainless eye bolt and splice on to that using thimbles and cordura sleeves where needed. it cost a good bit of money but the security and quality is all there.:)
     
  9. treevet

    treevet Banned

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    The cost of a 22" chain.....maybe $22.00

    The enjoyment of swinging on a swing based on a branch 30 or 40 feet in the air.....priceless. :biggrinbounce2:
     
  10. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We've had a rope swing over a sycamore branch for years. The branch actually grew around the rope - the branch was fine. I finally convinced my brother it was time to change the rope.
     
  11. supercut469

    supercut469 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I had a swing on a large sugar Maple at the cottage using an eye bolt. Believe it or not the shank of the eye bolt snapped! This happened over time and was the result of metal fatigue. Eye bolts are NOT safe unless they are way way way oversized. The shank on mine was I think 1/4 inch diameter, not nearly enough.
     
  12. Nailgunner

    Nailgunner ArboristSite Operative

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    I'd always thought the least intrusive way of doing this was to put a rope over the branch, but i'll happily learn new stuff :)

    Possibility - use excessively long bolts that stick out several inches on the top side, so that they are visible when the tree is cut down for firewood.

    ... Although by that time we'll be using handheld terawatt-class pulse lasers to cut out firewood. probably :D
     
  13. M.D. Vaden

    M.D. Vaden vadenphotography.com

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    You know those flat straps sold for anchoring and lifting stuff? The ones that hold thousands of pounds?

    How about wrapping one of those around the limb, since the flat shape will spread the pressure?

    Some come as short as a couple of feet long if I recall, and are not very expensive.

    It's one option to consider. If not too short, almost no way it would girdle. It would hang like an upside down teardrop shape.

    These come to mind, because I was pricing some when we were in Medford, while thinking of offering tree transplanting.
     
  14. Nailgunner

    Nailgunner ArboristSite Operative

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    Could do - they may degrade in sunlight over a couple of years, worth considering if you do it. But it may work without harming the tree.
     
  15. D Mc

    D Mc ArboristSite Operative

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    Though this sounds like a really good idea, and it is nice to think of alternative methods that are less invasive, I do not believe this will work.

    That type of attachment will move as the swing moves, thereby constantly creating friction and damage to a large portion of the cambium zone. If it is like most swings, with most kids that are like energizer bunnies, there will be a lot of movement in this area, which will cause damage.

    I would repeat my recommendation for a piece of hardware specifically designed for swing usage. They are not expensive and they work.

    Dave
     
  16. JeffL

    JeffL ArboristSite Guru

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    I third the eyebolt idea. :heart:
     
  17. Toronado3800

    Toronado3800 ArboristSite Member

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    I'm in favor of the senselessly overstrong bolt through the branch.

    The metal should take a decade before we even think about it rusting.

    The portion sticking out the top can be a foot long to almost make certain the branch will never encapsulate it

    And as I always notice around home and lawncare forums, no-one mentions making some note that the darned thing is there! Stick it on the wall next to the fuse panel between the notes about where you buried the dog and the diagram of where the water pipes run.

    Of course this would be an evolutionary idea akin to electricians leaving a wiring diagram in the house they just wired. (funny I own one for my 68 Mustang but not my 100k house).
     
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  18. treevet

    treevet Banned

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    Yes and I also have advocated the documentation of cable installations (off subject) to guesstimate the life span of each (on subject) and replace or remove.
     
  19. Suo Gan

    Suo Gan ArboristSite Lurker

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    If you opt for just throwing a rope over the branch, use a lariat, they have small steel cables woven inside them. They will stop a steer, can be taken down every year and re waxed, and are pretty cheap. I like to use two, spliting them at the end so each corner of the swing seat is supported with a knot underneath.

    There is nothing that I can remember as a kid in the country that brings back more pleasant memories than swinging under an oak, with the rope thirty feet in the air. You can really get some height. City cousins will not understand.
     
  20. M.D. Vaden

    M.D. Vaden vadenphotography.com

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    The swing motion and friction is a consideration.

    Seems like it might slip back and forth. If it did not rub, it would be similar to the Cobra concept.

    Sounded good in theory, but probably very limited in practice.
     

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