How to build Treeless Tree Houses on Poles
(5 questions from Jeff)
Question #1 – Poles Instead of Trees
I can’t seem to find hardly any information on building a treeless treehouse.I have five used utility poles, 15-17 foot tall that I thought would be good for the “foundation”. Are these strong enough for an “average” tree house?
Answer: So long as they are not decayed, they should be more than strong enough. You can tar the underground portion to make them last longer, and apply a water sealer to the above ground portion. Typically, poles or trees left in the round shape are stronger than a corresponding milled (rectangular) post. Nature knows best…
Question #2 – Setting Poles for a “Tree-less” Tree House
Do I put the poles in the ground or put in a concrete tube and mount the poles to that?
Answer: I would put them several feet into the ground if you don’t want to erect X bracing everywhere which is kind of ugly but functional. I would pour concrete in the hole at least below the frost line.
Question #3 – Floating Brackets on Post Treehouses
Can I bolt direct to poles or do I need to use moveable mounts still due to the wind factor?
Answer: You should bolt directly to the poles. So long as the project is 100% ground supported (no trees), then there is no need for floating brackets. All structures will move a little in the wind, but the idea is that if the structure is not rigid enough to resist moving when the wind blows, then it better allow for movement without damage.
Question #4 – Safety of Treehouses Built on Poles
Any safety factors or limitations?
Answer: So long as the posts don’t tip over and general wood fastening rules are followed, a treeless treehouse on posts is pretty safe. Beyond that, I better defer to your engineer.
Question #5 – Treeless Treehouse Resources
Any where else I can look for help and or examples of what I’m asking?
Answer: Why yes! There are a lot of resources and examples! Here are two videos that show very different types of treeless treehouses:
That first treehouse video was very simple and the poles were an A-Frame style (instead of trees). This next one is more along the lines of a traditional treehouse built on poles.
Notice the bracing in that treeless tree house between the posts. If you bury your posts deep enough, you may not need so much bracing, but that is a matter of checking building codes…
There are also some guides online (don’t hold us responsible for content on other sites:
There is also a website called www.treelesstreehouse.com that may have useful tips.