Just Hanging Out: How to Safely Hang a Hammock

While hammocks are a wonderful way to relax and enjoy a day off or unwind after a long stint at work, they can also be dangerous.

Drill, don’t wrap

First, it’s crucial that you hang hammocks from sturdy structures. Porch posts work well, as do solid trees. However, if you’re hanging a hammock from a tree, don’t make the mistaking of wrapping the rope around the tree. This can girdle the tree, destroying bark and the tree’s flow of nutrients. Girdling usually results in the death of the tree above the girdled area.

Instead, use a drill to insert eye hooks in the tree, and then hang the hammock. It’s a much safer way for the tree, as well as stronger and more stable for the hammock.

Use trunks, not branches

Newbies are often tempted to hang hammocks from limbs and branches, but the safest way to hang a hammock is to attach it to the trunk. Trunks are less likely to be damaged by the weight of the hammock and more likely to show signs of problems before hazards arise. For instance, if you see a split along the trunk around the eyehook, it likely means the tree isn’t strong enough to bear the weight.

Test for strength

Before hanging a hammock from a tree, it’s important to check out the entire specimen. Even if the trunk is strong enough to hold the hammock, damage can still occur if a tree has unstable limbs up above and they fall on the user of the hammock. Look for dead branches (usually apparent from dead leaves on a single branch, when other branches have healthy foliage). Cracks and splits at the crotches of branches also indicate a problem.

If you notice an issue when you’re searching for just the right tree to hang your hammock, contact the experts at Premier Tree Solutions by filling out this form. We’ll scan and assess the rest of your yard for potential problems or hazards so we can stop them before they start.

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