Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or would like to know more information.

A treehouse is a structure with an enclosed living space, supported by a live tree or with a tree growing through the interior.  Read the blog post here.

A traditional yurt is a portable structure used by the nomadic peoples on the plains of Asia.  They were covered in hides and woven mats and were designed to be set up and taken down to move regularly.  In modern times, yurts have become popular as portable and semi-permanent structures built with more resilient modern materials.  Tree Wise has further progressed the design by reducing the weight (so they can hang in trees), increasing the wind and weight load (through engineered framing), and made them octagonal with flat walls to maximize usable space. 

What do you mean “modern” yurt or tepee?

When we say “modern” we are saying that we are using an updated design and modern materials.  While it fits the general category of a yurt or tepee it is different enough to need further definition.  For example, our Modern Yurts have a different framing than a traditional one and are octagonal with flat walls rather than the traditional round shape.  Our Modern Tepees also have different framing and are more waterproof than traditional tepees.  We can build traditional tepees if that is what you want, just give us a call and we can discuss the specific differences and how they each function for your specific needs. 

Yes, we can put running water and electricity in many of our models.  With enough space we can build in standard bathrooms and kitchens, or use alternative toilets, such as composting toilets. 

We can help you determine what type of tree and environment is best for a treehouse.  Species, health, age, size, and location all affect which we would recommend using.  Email or call us and we can give you recommendations based on pictures and measurements.  Beyond that, here are some basics:  For an Arborealis model you would need a single trunked tree with no branches (or branches that can be removed without compromising tree health) for the 14-16ft where the treehouse would hang.  This trunk would need to be at least 20” diameter at the top of the treehouse (size requirement may vary depending on species, health and configuration).  The Aurora model, because it is ground based, isn’t requiring full support from the tree, allowing a wider size variety of tree.  For the Aurora we would need a tree with a single trunk with no branches (or branches that can be removed without compromising tree health) from the ground up to the top of the structure (14’-20’ above the deck depending on the model size).  There are several species of tree we recommend staying away from, including Cottonwood and Aspen.  These two lack the structural integrity and longevity to be a good choice. 

Well…. Glamping is the combination of Glamor and Camping.  It is the idea of being able to go and stay in a unique structure in the outdoors without giving up all the comforts of home.  Typically there is a real bed and access to bathrooms and other modern conveniences.  We have tried to get Treehouse Camping or “Tramping” to take off as a term, but people seem to be hesitant, for some reason. 

Glamping has a large following and provides lodging that your guests will tell their friends about.  It allows people who aren’t experienced campers or RVers to enjoy your resort.  Glamping structures attract new customers as well as adding something new and different for your returning guests.  Who doesn’t want to go and an adventure and stay in a treehouse, or pretend they are crossing the country in a covered wagon?  Glamping structures give people an adventure and a story they can tell their friends. 

Yes, you can.  We can insulate the structures fully and add a heat source for winter and air conditioner for summer.  Depending on the structure we would recommend different types of heaters (wood burning stoves in treehouses aren’t recommended). 

We will work to choose healthy trees that are in the prime of their species lifespan.  However, in the off chance the tree dies there are some options.  If you have an Aurora (ground-based treehouse) the structure is already supported by the ground, so we can either removed the tree entirely, or cut the top of the tree off and leave the trunk and treat it so you would still have the interaction with the tree.  Another option with both the Aurora and Arborealis models would be to move them to a different tree.  Because the framing of the models is the same regardless of tree size, it is possible to remove them from one tree and reinstall in a new tree or location.  

Regulations will depend on your local codes.  There may be Zoning concerns, Building permits and sometimes health department regulations (for bathrooms and waste water management).  We recommend talking with your local regulators to find out what areas they will be concerned about.  We have worked with many jurisdictions across the US and Canada and can provide you pointers in navigating this process and we can work with your local regulators to educate and provide them with the necessary documentation.  We will help you provide the necessary information to your regulators as you work through the permitting process. 

Typically, from the date of order to the day we ship the kit will be 4-8 weeks.  If we are providing the installation, on site installation will take between 1 and 2 weeks on site depending on the model and the specifics you choose. 

No.  The exterior cloth is a waterproof vinyl which can stay up year-round and will not rot like canvas.  Washing of the cloth can be done in place with a scrub brush or pressure washer. 

How do you account for tree growth with a treehouse?

Our design is unique in how we attach to the trees and how we allow for tree growth.  All parts of the treehouses can be moved away from the tree as it grows.  With each build we provide an estimated 12-15 years of space for the trees to grow before modifications have to be made to the structure (aka trimming parts back or moving barriers to tree growth).  On an annual basis there are several nuts, accessible from inside the treehouse, that need to be loosened to allow space for another year of tree growth.  

Because of their shape, yurts naturally shed snow and wind.  Snow will typically slide off of the roof.  Even if it doesn’t the structures can withstand significant snow loads.  Exact numbers will depend on the model and size.  Because of the rounded shape of yurts they shed wind better than square structures.  A common problem with “traditional yurts” is a lack of uplift protection.  They are very strong in compression but if the wind gets inside the roof can easily lift off the walls.  Due to our changes to the framing we can quantify the wind and uplift protections of our structures. 

Yes.  If you are going to keep the interior of the yurt or treehouse above freezing year round, we can run the piping in a way to keep it from freezing between the ground and where it goes into the structure, whether that is a few ft or 50ft.

For small tares or punctures to the exterior vinyl it is possible to patch the vinyl.  If there is larger damage, our structures are designed so that pieces can be easily removed and replaced without replacing large sections. 

Vinyl will last 10-15 year in direct sunlight.  Depending on the intensity of the sunlight there are maintenance products we recommend to prolong the Ultra Violet (UV) resistance of the cloth, which can further extend the cloths lifespan.   

Vinyl lasts longer, is easier to maintain, comes in a wider range of thicknesses and colors, can be left up year-round, and is more cost effective per square ft. 

Find a tree, like the tree, talk to Tree Wise Designs. 

Cloth maintenance: vinyl cloth should be washed every year.  This is easily done with scrub brushes or a pressure washer.  You can also treat the vinyl with a product to help it resist Ultra Violet (UV) rays.  This extends the cloth life span. 

Tree related maintenance:  If we are attaching to a tree hardware will need to be adjusted to allow for annual tree growth.  Structure will need to be checked for any places where the tree may be starting to engage the structure or frame.  The tree should also be checked regularly by an arborist to maintain tree health and catch any issues before they become serious. 

Structure maintenance:  In general, there will be maintenance needed due to wear and tear through use.  We design for ease of maintenance with ways to repair or replace parts easily without long down times or expense.