“These Tree houses Aren’t Just for Kids”

Inside & Out, Sierra Home And Landscape,Spring/Summer 2004
By Heidi Emmett

Want to get a little closer to heaven? Climb the tree in your backyard via a wooden staircase of ladder. Enjoy chirping birds and the rush of wind in your own custom-made tree house by Jonathan Fairoaks.

Taking care of pine trees at father’s nursery and his gymnastic skills helped put Fairoaks on the path building treehouses as a career. Fairoaks built his first live-in treehouse while studying Environmental Horticulture at UC Davis eventually becoming a certified arborist.

When you think your children deserve a one-of-a-kind structure, Fairoaks can build your dream treehouse in about two weeks. Deciduous and conifer trees are both good for treehouse building, although conifers tend to drip pitch (sap). Tree age is not important; often a young tree (20-50 years old) can be used.

If your treehouse design is larger than 200 square feet, it will require a foundation and building permits. Structural weight is also a consideration. The tree’s height, size, location, soil, and materials used all need consideration. The tree’s structure dictates how Fairoaks builds the treehouse’s supporting framework. Usually, floating mounts are used. This system allows the treehouse to be suspended and to move independently of the tree. Sometimes, ground supports are also needed. Stairs are not required. Ladders afford an inexpensive entryway that can be taken down or pulled up for privacy and security. Rope ladders, ramps, and cable trolleys are other possible means of entry. Once the supporting structure and platform are in place, the treehouse itself can be built.

Fairoaks works with the owner to make each treehouse unique. Colorful trims, stained glass windows, zip lines, and hammocks, are just a few of the items that can be used. Electricity can also be added. Treehouses are NOT just for kids. Go to Jonathan Fairoaks’ website at www.livingtreeonline.com to see what he can help build for you.

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