How to Make a Tree Fort with Wood

by on April 25th, 2011
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Overview
Kids love playing in and around trees. Many kids discover this fascination at a very young age. You could build a treehouse for your older children, but, that will leave out the smaller kids. You can include the little ones in the outdoor adventure and clean your trees up at the same time by building a tree fort. Unlike a treehouse, a fort is built solidly on the ground. This tree fort is also absolutely free because it uses the larger, lower branches of the trees in your yard instead of expensive lumber.

Things You’ll Need
Handsaw
8-foot stepladder
Tie wire
Lineman’s pliers
Safety glasses
Work gloves

Step 1
Cut away the lowest branches from the tree where you want to build your fort. Remove each branch with a handsaw and set it aside to be used in the construction of the fort. Set up a ladder under the tree to reach branches you cannot safely reach from the ground.

Step 2
Remove lower branches from neighboring trees if necessary to obtain enough wood to build your fort. Place these branches with the branches you previous removed. for further processing before beginning construction.

Step 3
Trim each of the main branches in your pile to remove side branches and foliage. Hold each loose branch securely with one hand while sawing with your free hand. Place the trimmed main branches in your supply pile and the refuse in your compost heap.

Step 4
Stand one of the trimmed branches at a 30-degree angle, with its top resting against the tree. Loop a piece of tie wire around the top of the branch and the tree trunk. Twist the ends of the wire with your pliers to tighten the hold. Snip off the free ends of the wire with the cutters on your lineman’s pliers.

Step 5
Continue placing branches, side by side, against the tree to form a circular fort. Secure each branch to the tree trunk and to the branch next to it with tie wire. Leave an 18-inch gap between the first and last branches you place as an entry point.

Warnings
Always use work gloves and safety glasses when working with hand tools.
Always maintain three points of contact between your body and the ladder when working at heights of more than 6 feet off the ground.
Check the condition of the tie wire every three months to insure the continued safety of the structure. Remove rusted or damaged metal wire and replace it with new tie wire immediately.

Reference
Farmer’s Market Online; Here’s How to Build a Treehouse; Kim D. Coder; 2003


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