Information: Treehouse Hardware
Treehouse hardware: an overview
The Nelson Treehouse science of building safely and sustainably up in the trees is founded on the use of the highest-quality, heavy-duty, specialized treehouse hardware. We have spent over 30 years consulting with and working alongside carpenters, arborists, and engineers to develop the hefty hardware we trust in every treehouse we build.
In 2016 and 2021, we tested the weight-bearing capacity our Treehouse Attachment Bolts (TABs) at the Composite Materials and Engineering Center at Washington State University. The ICC-accredited results proved just how strong our TABs and the associated hardware are when properly installed in the tree(s).
Our treehouse hardware is comprised of heavy, heat-treated steel – a single standard-limb TAB weighs 18 pounds. It’s professional-grade, but DIY-friendly: hundreds of backyard treehouse-builders around the world have used our hardware to create the treehouse of their dreams. Our standard-limb and heavy-limb hardware is fabricated in the USA.
Working Load Values - Gravity Capacity in Pounds
We’re here to support you along the way: we offer consultations via phone or in-person to advise DIY-ers on their treehouse projects. From quick questions, to more in-depth problem solving, to modification of our existing plans, we're here to help. When you purchase any of our treehouse designs and/or hardware, we provide a complimentary 15-minute consultation to advise you on the necessary equipment for your project.
- Click HERE to watch our video series of Pete building a platform using our Tree Fort Hardware
- Check out Example Platforms HERE
- View Treehousing Best Practices HERE
Importance of using specialized treehouse hardware
Unlike a traditional earthbound house, the foundation for a treehouse is elevated in the air and rests in living organisms. Yet treehouses are not lightweight structures: a fully finished, furnished, and occupied treehouse can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. The foundation for the treehouse – its connection to the trees and the hardware that supports its prodigious weight – is of the upmost importance for the safety of the occupants, health of the tree(s), and longevity of the structure.
When properly installed, our treehouse hardware provides a safe, sustainable, and strong support system for your treehouse without causing irreparable damage to the trees. Investing in quality, specialized hardware is essential for creating an enduring foundation for your treehouse.
In most of our treehouse builds, we install heavy-limb hardware, as we are typically building large-scale treehouses with extensive square footage and weight. For DIY-ers building a modest backyard treehouse, Tree Fort or standard-limb hardware will usually be adequate.
Please note that all hardware returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee.
Bit & Auger Rental Program: In order to participate in the rental program, you must clarify in an order note or email before shipment that you would like a rental bit or auger. Then if they are returned, undamaged within 30 days, you receive a 60% refund. NOTE: The Tree Fort Installation Kit is not eligible for the rental program.
For in-depth information on best practices for treehouse-building, we recommend you read our Treehouse Instructional Guide.
Want to see treehouses that other DIY-ers have built with our hardware? Check out these blog posts:
For our tips on hardware installation and building practices, we recommend watching these tutorial videos:
- What is a TAB? (Treehouse Attachment Bolt)
- TAB Installation Tips
- Installing a Treehouse Suspension System
- Basic Tree Entry SRT Climbing
And checking out these blog posts:
- Hardware Highlight: Treehouse Attachment Bolt
- Testing the Strength of Treehouse Attachment Bolts
- One-Stop Shop for Your Treehouse Build
- Pete Nelson's Treehouse Designs for DIY-ers
- 6 Steps of the Nelson Treehouse Design Process
- Technology That's Revolutionizing the Way We Build Treehouses
- DIY Ships Ladder
- DIY Hog Wire Railing
- Treehouse Framing DIY Tutorial: Your First Rake Wall
- How to Build a Fibonacci Bench
We have more videos on treehouse technique, tips, and timelapses on our YouTube channel.
Questions? Please reach out to orders@
Disclaimer and Limitations
Be in a Tree LLC and Nelson Treehouse and Supply disclaim and limit any representations and warranties as follows:
- The load that this treehouse hardware can bear depends on many factors, including the species and health of your tree(s). Tree house maintenance is required every year to ensure the structure, and tree(s) remain safe and secure for years to come, and more importantly that its users are not put at risk. Perform frequent inspections and maintenance.
- We highly recommend consulting with Nelson Treehouse, a certified arborist, and a structural engineer before starting your project, especially if your treehouse will contend with snow loads, wind, earthquakes, or other extreme environmental factors.
- Use hardware at your own risk. Improperly installed hardware can pose a significant risk to all parties involved including (but not limited to) the tree, construction workers, and the users of the treehouse. Be in a Tree LLC and Nelson Treehouse and Supply disclaim and assume no liability, are not responsible for property damage, personal injury or consequential damages alleged to be the result of use of this product.