How to Hang a Swing From a Tree Without Branches

Having a tree swing in the backyard is one of the simplest joys of childhood. There are many types of swings than can easily be purchased from leading retailers and online stores nowadays. Some of the most popular types of swings are plank, disk, tire and saucer swings. Parents can also get creative and use other sturdy materials for the swing’s base.

While it’s easy to source swing sets and materials, it can be difficult to install a tree swing, especially when there’s no horizontal branch available.

We’ve got you covered—in this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about how to hang a swing:

  • From a tree without branches
  • Between two trees
  • On an angled branch

Let’s jump into it!

How to hang a swing from a tree without branches

We’re all used to seeing tree swings hanging from horizontal boughs in photos and movies. However, not all trees grow similarly, and many backyard trees have no horizontal branches that can support the combined weight of a swing and a child.

Luckily, it’s still possible to hang a swing, even if the tree you want to hang it from doesn’t have branches. Believe it or not, you can create the perfect instant tree branch for your swing—find out exactly how to hang a swing from a tree without branches below.

Tools and materials

  • Drill
  • Measuring tools
  • Level
  • Ladder
  • Rope
  • Bolts
  • Hooks/tree straps/swing hanger
  • Swing
  • Faux branch

Selecting a faux tree branch

As mentioned, this project requires creating a faux or artificial branch to hang your swing from. Your swing’s faux branch needs to be strong for the safety of your child, so you must choose one that’s made of resistant materials like sturdy wood or metal. It should be thick enough to support the child’s weight and be at least 6 feet long.

Additionally, you’ll have to make sure that your faux branch can be effectively nailed or drilled into your swing’s tree, and can withstand any alterations that are needed to complete this step.

9-step guide

Thick birch tree trunk - How to hang a swing from a tree without branches

Choose a tree

Make sure your swing tree is sturdy enough to support your child’s weight as they grow, and that it’s strong enough to hold your faux branch securely. For your child’s safety, the tree should have a diameter of 12 inches or more. The larger the tree trunk is, the more sturdy and safe it’ll be.

The age of the tree is also important. Choose a tree that’s not too young or too old. Very young trees may not be able to support the weight of a swing, while a very old tree might be too dry and brittle to hold your faux tree branch.

Identify location for faux branch

Your faux branch shouldn’t be installed too high or too low for your child. The recommended spot is about 8 to 10 feet from the ground.

Drill a hole in your faux branch

This hole will allow you to attach the faux branch to the tree trunk later on. It should be in the middle of the faux branch, approximately 16 inches from the end that won’t be holding your swing.

Position your faux branch

This step will require the help of another person. Both of you must be strong adults to ensure your safety. Ask the other person to hold the plank horizontally against the spot where you want to attach your faux branch. Position the pre-drilled hole of the faux branch against your tree trunk.

Make sure the part that’s hanging outside the tree is between 3 and 6 feet long and is parallel to the ground. If the hanging part is too long, the swing may be unstable and unsafe.

Drill through the tree trunk

Drill a hole in the tree trunk while the faux branch is positioned against it. Keep in mind that the tree trunk, behind the faux branch, should be thick. The drilled hole should travel at least 4 inches into the trunk.

Next, screw in a bolt until the faux branch fits tightly, but is still moveable.

Level the plank

Before you secure the plank in place, level it so it’s parallel to the ground. If the faux branch isn’t leveled, the swing may slip.

Drill two more holes for security

Drill in two more holes 3 to 5 inches above the first hole. These holes should be to the upper right and the upper left of the first hole. Following this, install two more bolts.

Tighten all three bolts

Always double-check if the bolts are tight to keep your faux branch strong, safe and dependable.

Hang the swing

The procedure of hanging the swing may vary, depending on the swing type. You can make your own swing by using a plank and a rope, or use a swingset that includes a swing board, hooks and ropes or chains for more convenience.

Regardless of your choice of swing, the general steps for installing the swing will begin with hooking it to the branch or support beam. Attach your swing’s ropes to the long end of the faux branch, while making sure your swing is 2 or 3 feet away from your tree trunk for safety’s sake. The ropes or chains should be of a high quality to avoid breakage and other accidents.

Next, check and see if the height of the swing is appropriate for your child, by asking your child to sit on the swing. The child should be able to touch the ground with flat feet while sitting.

When the height is just right, secure the swing with hooks, tree straps for swings or tight tree swing knots. If you end up needing to drill a second hole through your faux branch to secure the swing, make sure the holes have a distance of at least 21 inches between them.

Pros and cons


  • Allows you to choose the best spot for your swing
  • A quick way to install swings in your backyard
  • Doesn’t do any harm to the tree
  • Faux branch is removable and can be reused on another tree


  • Faux branch can only support the weight of babies and small children
  • Branch may only last for a couple of years, depending on its materials’ quality and how well it’s built
  • This project requires two people

How to hang a swing between two trees

Hanging a swing between two trees is easier and offers more stability. This method requires you to use an artificial beam, placed between the two trees, to hold and support your swing.

Tools and materials

  • Drill
  • Measuring tools
  • Level
  • Ladder
  • Rope
  • Bolts
  • Hooks/tree straps/swing hanger
  • Swing
  • Artificial beam

Selecting an artificial beam

The artificial beam will play a significant role in this project, so remember to choose one that’s strong and sturdy. A couple of sturdy materials to consider are wood and metal.

The length and size of the crossbeam will matter as well. You’ll want your crossbeam to be longer than the distance between the two trees so you can connect them securely. The thickness of the beam is also important, as thicker crossbeams can support more weight than thin ones.

6-step guide

Pair of trees about eight feet apart - How to hang a swing from a tree without branches

Choose your trees

Find a pair of trees that have a distance of about 8 to 12 feet in between them. The distance must be no longer than 16 feet, or else the beam may weaken or sag. If the beam sags, it may not be able to support the swing’s weight, and it may break completely.

Additionally, your trees shouldn’t be too close to other trees. If the distance between your swing trees and other trees is too short, your swing may bounce off them and hurt your child.

Identify location for artificial beam

Mark the spots on the trees where you want to attach your beam. Just like the faux branch, your artificial beam should be placed about 8 to 10 feet from the ground.

Mark your beam with drill holes

Hold your artificial beam between the two tree trunks horizontally, on top of the marked spots. In a square pattern, mark four drill holes on each of the beam’s ends. On either side, you must drill into the thickest part of the trunk to attach the beam securely.

Level the beam

Before drilling, always check and see if the beam is leveled so the swing won’t slip. It should be parallel to the ground between the trees,

Drill through the holes to secure beam

Drill through the holes you marked beforehand. The holes should be at least 4 inches deep. After you’re done drilling your first hole, screw a bolt tightly into it. Repeat this step for the remaining drill marks.

Attach the swing

Depending on the type of swing you have, you’ll need to use hooks, tree straps or swing hangers to attach your swing to the beam. Finally, check the height by having your child sit on the swing, and adjust the swing accordingly.

Pros and cons


  • Artificial beam provides more stability and safety
  • Beam can hold more weight than faux tree branch


  • Must find trees at an appropriate distance apart
  • Beam doesn’t look natural

How to hang a tree swing on an angled branch

An angled branch may not be the ideal tree branch for a swing, but it can certainly hold one, so long as it’s attached properly. The steps for how to hang a tree swing on an angled branch may be tricky to follow, but if you’re careful and follow them precisely, you’ll succeed with this project.

Tools and materials

  • Drill
  • Measuring tools
  • Level
  • Ladder
  • Rope
  • Bolts
  • Hooks/tree straps/swing hanger
  • Swing
  • PVC pipe (1-inch diameter)

12-step guide

Angled tree branch - How to hang a swing from a tree without branches

Find a strong branch

Make sure the branch is at least 8 inches in diameter and isn’t close to any other branches. Close branches may get in the way of the swing.

Measure swing width

Measuring the swing’s width will help identify the ideal distance between the two points on the angled branch from which you’ll hang the swing. After measuring, write down the swing width (as you should with all measurements) and add 4 inches.

Identify swing location

Don’t attach your swing too close to the end of the branch. Branch ends are likely to be less supportive than other parts of a branch, and may break over time. Always place your swing in the middle part of any branch.

Drill two vertical holes through tree

The holes should have a distance similar to the width of the swing, plus 4 inches.

From this point, you can opt to screw eyebolts into the drilled holes and attach the swing hooks, carabiner or swing hanger to the eyebolts. If you don’t want to drill holes, you can use ropes to attach the swing. However, you must wrap the rope in a way that it’ll only tighten when the swing is in use, to allow the branch to grow.

These methods are the easiest for installing a swing on an angled tree branch, but they aren’t the best methods if you want to ensure flawless swing movements. For better results and smoother swinging, continue with the steps that follow below.

Take offset measurement with level

Now that you’ve drilled your holes, grab your level and place it against the lowest hole. Tilt the level until it’s totally even. Pick up your measuring tool and measure the distance between the top of the level and the highest part of the branch. This distance is your offset measurement.

Prepare long piece of 1-inch PVC pipe

Your PVC pipe should have a length that’s 1 inch longer than the diameter of the angled branch, plus the offset measurement.

For instance, if you have a 9-inch diameter and a 5-inch offset, add 1 inch. The sum is 15 inches, and this should be the length of the PVC pipe you’ll be using.

Drill through pipe’s top

Measure a half-inch from the pipe’s top and drill a hole through it, using a 3/8-inch drill bit. Get ahold of a long bolt and a nut and fasten the openings.

Drill through highest part of branch

Using a 1-inch bit, drill a hole through the highest part of the angled branch. Position the pipe underneath the hole you’ve created and push it up through the branch. Stop pushing once the pipe comes through the branch’s top.

Place long eyebolt in lower hole

Grab a long eyebolt and place it in the lowest hole on the branch. Secure it with a large washer and a nut on top.

Feed one rope up through pipe

The rope should go inside the pipe. When you’re done feeding it through, make a large knot at the end of the rope that’s at the top of the pipe, and then secure a long bolt and nut across the top of the pipe’s distance. This will keep the pipe in place so it won’t slide out of the branch it’s been fed through. It’ll also hold the rope knot in place to avoid slippage. The addition of the pipe will make the fulcrum point at the top even and allow the swing to move smoothly.

Tie other rope to lower hole’s eyebolt

For this knot and any others you tie, always make sure you tie the swing ropes tightly.

Ensure that swing is level

An uneven swing could be uncomfortable and unsafe, so you must always level up the bottoms.

Pros and cons


  • If steps are followed correctly, swings should hang level without twisting
  • This method keeps a yard’s natural appearance without using big, artificial items
  • Doesn’t require additional wood or metal


  • Acquiring measurements and attaching a swing on an angled branch takes lots of time and effort


image 1: Pixabay; image 2: Pixabay; image 3: Wikimedia Commons; image 4: Pixabay