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I live in the country and I'd like to hang a 1x6 piece of wood between to 2 trees about 15 ft up. This is so I can hang gymnastics rings.

I'd be real easy to simply drill into the trees. but will this harm them much?

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  • Apart from the suspension method I suggest that 1x6" isn't thick enough. Can you not find two suitable thick branches to tie the beam to? Jul 26, 2023 at 18:32

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Besides opening the tree for disease and introducing a fixed point into a growing entity, likely to cause damage in the future, fixing two trees together with a piece of wood that can not bend is likely to cause damage itself.

Trees will move, as a whole and the different parts of it individually. No two trees will move in the same way and branches will move in their own way.

There is a tradition of tying bars to trees after protection to the tree has been applied. This is because that is one of very few ways you can attach things to trees with little damage to the tree. It is still best to use one branch and not force branches together.

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If you use nails, they can damage the tree. And with the lateral forces you will exert on the beam with gymnastics, the nails might work free.

  • If there is a suitable limb to rest both ends of the beam on each tree at the same height, do that, with the beam against their trunks.

  • If there is a suitable limb on only one tree, suspend the other end of the beam from a convenient limb of the other tree, against its trunk.

  • If there is no suitable limb of either tree to rest the beam on top of, suspend the beam from a limb at each end, against their trunks.

Use rope to suspend the beam from tree limbs, and use rope to secure it tightly against each tree trunk, no matter whether it is suspended or carried.

Protect the tree from abrasion with something like hessian sack material, because there will be a lot of small movement. Always ensure that the rope, the tree limbs and the beam have more than enough strength to withstand excess and sudden loads.

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