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What Are the Best Trees for a Hammock?

Summer is just around the corner which means you can start planning and preparing for your outdoor activities. A hammock is one of the best outdoor seating options for relaxation and a nice piece of furniture for the warm weather. Hammocks are also environmentally beneficial when used with a tree-friendly suspension system. This guide will help you select the best trees for a hammock whether you will install it in your yard or bring it with you when you go camping.

What Are the Best Trees for a Hammock?

Tree Size and Health

When selecting a tree to hang your hammock, consider the size first. Choose a healthy, large, and sturdy tree that can hold your weight. This will reduce the risk of damaging the trees and save you from an accident. To test it, shake the tree with a moderate amount of force. If it trembles, then it is too small and weak to carry any load.

Another factor to consider is the tree’s diameter and circumference. An ideal tree branch does not have to be large in diameter. It should measure at least 8 inches to be considered strong. Having a larger tree diameter will cause the suspension system to overstretch and give you weaker strap strength. As a result, you may need to find another pair of trees that are closer together and have a smaller diameter. Nonetheless, there are modern tree saver straps that are adjustable and easy to use.

Distance between trees

Measure the distance and spacing between the two trees. You will need a distance of at least 10 to 15 feet, depending on the length of your hammock and the amount of tension you want. This is an essential factor because it is a huge time saver when you easily find a pair of trees that match the length of your hammock and suspension cords.

If you are not familiar with the suspension system, it is the rope, strap, cord, or chain that bridges the gap between the hammock and the anchor or the two points from which you will hang your hammock. It is highly suggested that you hang the suspension at a 30-degree angle which will provide the right amount of force. Excessively tightening the suspension will create tension on both sides.

Examining Tree Hazards

After finding the pair of trees with the ideal size, circumference, and diameter, thoroughly evaluate them before installing your hammock. Don’t know what to look for? We got you covered.

Here are the things you need to consider:

Dead branches and limbs

Look into the canopy and spot dead branches that do not have any leaves attached to them. These branches can fall from the canopy with the help of natural forces which can be incredibly dangerous. You can place a rope around the limb that you will hang your hammock from. Gently pull on the rope to test its strength. If you see that it can hold the weight, gradually increase its load and see how it will handle something heavier.

Cracks and large bulges

Look for cracks and splits at the base of the branches of the trees.

Rot and hollowings

Check the outside of the tree if there is rot or hollowings. Since it is hard to check inside it, look for other hints such as mushrooms growing on brittle bark, falling branches, and discolored leaves.

Termite damage

Look for any signs of termite infestation in the tree. However, they are hard to spot in some cases.

Dangerous plants

Before going to a forest or anywhere surrounded by plants, be sure to familiarize yourself with the poisonous and dangerous species that thrive in these areas. The most common hazardous plants you need to familiarize yourself with are poison ivy, Gympie-Gympie, poison oak, and poison sumac. Bushes are also commonly found growing around the trees. These should be avoided as there are some bushes with thorns. You wouldn’t want to accidentally lie down on them now, would you?

Softwood

Evergreens and fruit trees are some softwoods that should be avoided. Examples of these would be pine, fir, willow, and poplar.

Wildlife

If you are in a forest, be aware of the wildlife. If you see a bird’s nest in the tree, do not hang your hammock in that tree. Avoid areas where wildlife may be dwelling or resting.

Additional Reading: The 4 Best Hammocks of 2021

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