Using hammocks without damaging the trees, is that even possible? We say yes! With the right tricks and a trained eye when choosing, you can hang lazily between two trees with a clear conscience!
Time and time again we read concerns about the possible damage to trees from hanging a hammock. Therefore, we have taken another closer look at this topic. In this article we want to share our findings with you, because the protection of trees is very important to us too.
There are some helpful tips and tricks that you as a hammock owner should keep in mind when using trees for hanging. If each of us heeds these tips, we can lie calmly between the trees in the HÄNG and enjoy nature!
Tip # 1: the right suspension
Fairly often, swings, hammocks and slacklines are attached with thin ropes only. You should avoid this type of attachment. A thin rope that is not tight, but moves back and forth with every movement, slowly but surely eats into the bark of the tree and damages the cambium below. And with that, we're already right in the middle of the nerdy nature talk 😝
So the whole thing a little clearer:
Most trees have a tree bark, which consists of an outer bark and an inner layer of bast. The growth layer, the so-called cambium, lies between this bast layer and the actual heartwood. This layer forms wood on the inside and bast on the outside and thus ensures constant growth in length and thickness. The bark ultimately serves to protect the cambium, so if a small piece of bark should break off when the hammock is attached this isn't the end of the world, but if the cambium under the bark is damaged, the tree can actually suffer long-term damage.
With straps that are 2.5 cm or even wider like our straps, you can easily avoid this damage. To distribute the weight even better, you can wrap the ribbon around the tree several times. Make sure that the contact surfaces are in contact with the tree so that there are no pressure points. The tape should be as tight as possible. As can be seen in the photo, our straps have loops, so the strap pulls together tightly under load and the risk of the straps slipping is significantly reduced.
Finally, you can use a tree guard in addition to a wide band. This is especially useful if the trees only have a very thin bark, such as beeches. Our tree protection SÄVE can be accessed here. Or you use a piece of felt, a folded towel or a foam seat pad.
Now you can go out into nature with the hammock and the right suspensions. 🙌 🏕️ At this stage, please keep the following in mind:
Tip # 2: choose the right trees
As you can probably guess, there are trees that are better and trees that are less suitable for hanging a hammock. The diameter of the trees is particularly important here. Basically: The thicker the tree trunk, the larger the contact surface on which the weight is distributed. If the tree you have chosen is less than 15 cm in diameter, you should perhaps look a little further. A diameter of 25 cm and more would be ideal. (A small guide: a normal pizza usually has a diameter of 25-30 cm 🍕🌳)
And finally, you should always take a look up while lying down. If the crown of the tree moves noticeably when swinging, it would be better to look for a somewhat stronger tree. If the crown stays still or only moves slightly, it is safe to assume thhat the tree is happy and well.
We have already talked about the bark, the following still applies here: the thinner and more delicate the bark, the more useful additional tree protection can be. Oaks, pines or other trees with a flaky bark that does not peel off too easily are particularly suitable. Here are two examples of what a robust and therefore perfectly suitable bark looks like:
If you have found a tree duo that meets the requirements, continue with:
Tip # 3: hang the hammock correctly
There are several tricks when hanging the hammock that help minimize the force on the trees. As shown in the photo, the angle between the tree and the suspension is particularly important.
You shouldn't put up the hammock too tight, because the smaller the angle, the more uncomfortable it will be for you and the tree. If you tighten the hammock too tight, the force acting on the tree increases. This is also the reason why slacklines or tarps are more likely to damage the cambium than hammocks, because they have to be stretched as tightly as possible and are subject to a lot of movement.
Should you ever be unsure how best to hang up your hammock, the Hammock Hang Calculator help. 🧮
Finally, we would like to point out that at the beginning of 2020 we increased our commitment to more environmental protection. Together with Eden Reforestation Projects we plant two new trees with every order. Because without trees there is no hammocking and - for us - there is no hammock without trees. You can find more details in this Blog post.
We hope this post has helped clarify that we take your concerns seriously and are also very invested in protecting all trees as well as possible.
Now we wish you a lot of fun with your hammock and enjoy lazing around!
Short checklist for the stuff sack:
- Use wide straps (at least 2.5 cm) instead of thin ropes.
- The following applies to the diameter: the thicker the tree, the better, but the diameter should not be smaller than that of a pizza (25-30cm).
- Use trees with a sturdy bark.
- We recommend our tree protection for particularly sensitive barks SÄVE or to wrap the tape several times.
- Tighten the hammock loosely, otherwise you will appear heavier than you are. A 30 ° angle between the suspension and the tree is a good guideline.