5

Often times in city parks people will use the trees for slacklining, the problem comes when they use trees that are not big enough, and given enough time and users this can be unhealthy for the trees.

I realize that there are different kinds of trees, but a general rule of thumb would still be helpful.

How big should the trees used for slacklining be?

6

I don't think there can be a definite answer to this question: it all depends on how much tension there is on the slackline. And the slackline tension depends on a few factors, among which there are:

  • the length of the line
  • the width of the line
  • how much the line is actually tensioned
  • body weight of the people walking on the line
  • what the people are doing on the line (just walking or acrobatic tricks/jumps)
  • the type of the line

So there are quit a few factors in the calculations. The only general advice I have seen on the internet, is that trees should have at least 30cm in diameter. I guess this should be good enough in most cases, but from my personal experience I would argue that for simple walking on a short (<=15m) line, trees with a much smaller diameter could be used without harming them as well.

Regardless of the tree diameter, it is, however, a good idea to use tree protectors. It could be either specialized gear that comes with the slackline, or just a piece of fabric to put in between the line and the tree.

To check the actual line tension one could use a Tension calculator.

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