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, 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 fabricated in the USA and 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.
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.
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, standard-limb hardware will usually be adequate.
A few important notes:
- Use hardware at your own risk. Improperly installed hardware can pose a significant risk to not only the tree, but all parties involved. Nelson Treehouse and Supply and Be in a Tree assume no liability.
- For treehouses that may contend with heavy snow loads or other extreme climate factors, we would strongly recommend consulting with a structural engineer.
- All hardware returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee.
For in-depth information on best practices for treehouse-building, we recommend you read our Treehouse Instructional Guide.
For our tips on hardware installation and more, 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
- Treehouse DIY-ers Part 1
We have more videos on treehouse technique, tips, and timelapses on our YouTube channel.
We hope you find these resources useful!
Questions? Please reach out to orders@