Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tree Trunk Crow's Nest and Slide

Tree Trunk Slide
Our tree trunk is now a climbing wall, crow's nest and slide
I am so glad that I took a video last year of our giant mature maple tree (see it here) because tragedy struck us this past winter. Our tree had developed a large cavity at its very top, was holding water and started to drop very large branches (10 inch diameter) in January. When the largest one hit, I was sitting in our kitchen drinking tea during nap time and it nearly got the kitchen roof. That sound inspired a healthy respect and awe for trees that I had not yet known!

So it was determined that it must come down due to the large hole in the trunk, and I spent three days with a sick stomach while listening to the cutting, cracking and thuds just outside our door. But, I love that there is redemption at the end of this story...


The man cutting the tree expected it to be pretty hollow the whole way down and suggested that we make a little play house out of the cavity. Well, that got me thinking fast! It did not end up being as hollow as expected (though the top of it was), but we had just been talking about needing a bigger slide for our kids since they had outgrown the Fisher Price variety. How about using its large trunk as a platform?

Large sections of trunk were kept nearby for adults to use as a step up to help the little children.
Large sections of trunk were kept nearby for adults to use as a step up to help the little children.
 A little geometry to help with the slope of the yard gave the ideal height for the trunk (yes... remember A squared + B squared = C squared?), and the rest was easy... especially for me because my husband did all of the chopping bark and screwing things in.  The slide, climbing holds, safety grips and ship's wheel were all ordered from an online store called Swingworks.

Climbing wall hold installed flat upon the tree trunk by chipping away some of the bark.
Climbing wall hold installed flat upon the tree trunk by chipping away some of the bark.
We have had endless hours of sailing in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail with Dr. Dolittle in this crow's nest in the tree. The decorative rope around the boarders helps to keep everyone in the ship!.
We have had endless hours of sailing in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail with Dr. Dolittle in this crow's nest. The decorative rope around the boarders helps to keep everyone in the ship!
Adventure awaits in our tree trunk as a climbing wall, crow's nest and slide
Adventure awaits!

11 comments:

  1. very fun...hope they enjoy it!

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  2. That's great! I love that you got to keep part of the tree, and that your kids have a one of a kind playground.

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  3. What a super idea, I love it that the tree lives on in another life! You are going to have so many adventures together!

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  4. Now the tree has its "second life", great idea!

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  5. Perfect! That is a great example of ingenuity in the face of adversity! Too bad you had to lose the tree, but you certainly made the most of the situation. Bravo!

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  6. Julie what a wonderful idea, sorry you lost your lovely tree and glad no damage was done, I love it, Frances

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  7. I checked out the video you mentioned. It must have been saddening to find out that you had to cut the tree down, but you had very good reasons to. You did a great job with what you've done with the remains of the tree. Very creative! The kids must be very excited to finally be able to climb that tree now.

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  8. Oh how fun. What a great idea to turn it into a recreation fun spot.

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  9. Ingenious...it is so sad to lose a mature tree that has given us and critters so much enjoyment....but as in The Giving Tree you have helped the tree live on with a new purpose...I just love this!

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  10. What a great re-use! (Aww, I remember the Great Pink Sea Snail.)

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