Caveat: Treehouse update

As some of you might know, I have this project going on: I want to build a treehouse. Not a full-scale house by any means, but not a tiny, kid-treehouse either. Just a kind of Arcata pumphouse-style outbuilding, I suppose.

I had originally meant for it to be down by the water. But I lost my confidence in the reliability of the trees near the water – although they are big and fat old-growth trees, they are old and their root-systems are precarious. I felt that putting a treehouse among those trees was likely to be fraught with the risk of one of those trees going down in a storm.

So I chose a spot among the third-growth trees up on the hillside, near the southern property line. Most of these third-growth western hemlocks and sitka spruce are about 8 inches in diameter – that’s enough to support a well-engineered treehouse, in my estimation.

When my brother Andrew was here, I consulted with him, because I know he has actual experience engineering and building treehouses. And he asked me for an update on progress, recently. I decided to post it here because other people might be curious too.

Progress is slow. I’ve cleared the spot where I intend for it go. It’s a rough quadrilateral with three 8-inch trees and one 6-inch tree. The 6-inch tree seems a bit small to support the treehouse, but it’s one corner out of four, and it’s attached to a hefty old stump, so if I rely somewhat on that, structurally, I think it will be OK.

I accepted Andrew’s recommendation to supplement my fat brackets that I bought specially for this project with cables to suspend the corners. So I bought the hardware for that.

I haven’t made much progress mostly because of the weather. Firstly, it’s been sunny and just below freezing, mostly, since Andrew left. That’s actually not good weather for working on this – the hillside has become very slippery, with old snow, repeatedly melted and frozen, turning into sheets of ice. Good old Prince-of-Wales rain would be better – that would make things muddy but manageable. This is a problem on the road, too, and so I’ve also decided to wait on going into town with the trailer to buy the additional lumber I need for this.

So meanwhile, all I do is go up periodically and judge the quality of my path up there, and clear spots of nearby brush.

I’ll hopefully make more effort once Art and I are back from our Australian venture, to start next week. We’ll see.

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