How is a Tree Weave different from a Tree House?
Perhaps the most important difference is that unlike with a treehouse, no trees need to be cut down anywhere in the world for lumber to build a Tree Weave. We've always found it ironic that in order to build a structure that helps you enjoy your trees and the great outdoors, many trees must be sacrificed somewhere (most likely out of sight, out of mind) in order to provide the lumber. We skip this heart-breaking reality altogether by building lumber-free treehouses.
The most obvious difference between the two is that a Tree Weave is built transparently using soft, elastic materials such as rope and paracord, whereas a treehouse is built using opaque and inflexible materials like wood and metal. Experientially this means that when you are up in a Tree Weave you feel very exposed; you can see straight down to the abyss below you. You can gaze straight through all the floors and walls at the flowers, leaves, and animals surrounding you; at the changes in weather and light; and at the empty space itself. You don't miss a moment of nature; all the changes in the cycles of the trees and plants around are visible from within a Tree Weave. Being in a treehouse, in contrast, is more like being indoors, despite the physical location of a treehouse in a tree. You have limited visibility through windows in the walls, and cannot see through the floor to the ground below, or through the ceiling to the sky above. You cannot feel the wind blow on your skin or the rain fall on your face inside a treehouse. For those who want to feel connected to trees but remain indoors while they do it, a treehouse is ideal. Tree Weaves are for nature lovers who wish to build a playground in their trees that brings them outside, into the wild, exposed to the forces. A Tree Weave is a structure that mimics the height, stability, safety, and support of a treehouse, yet allows a unique continuity between nature and human architecture. Not only does a Tree Weave afford its occupants all the sensations of being outside; it also provides open views of all its surroundings from vantages normally impossible—or, at the least, improbable—for human beings.
The materials used to build a tree net are bouncy. You can jump around and throw flips on a Tree Weave. You can fall off a slackline rigged above one, and the net will absorb the force of your fall. The walls are climbable. The softness of a Tree Weave makes it gentler on the body than the hard walls and floors that make up a treehouse or other activity space, and as such ideal for acro yoga, stretching, yoga practice, sparring, or wrestling.
For information about how Tree Weaves impose fewer limitations on a tree than a treehouse, please see the fourth question on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Tree Weaves are intrinsically much more creative than treehouses. Every single project is completely different, and ever evolving. Tree Weaves are almost like living, breathing, growing structures themselves. Every build is an emergent process; a Tree Weave is not designed in advance on paper the way that a tree house is. What that means is that each Weave is a surprise; you never really know exactly what it's going to look like or where it's going to go until it's finished. For some people, this uncertainty might not be appealing, but for others it is incredibly exciting. Every single square foot of every single Tree Weave ever made will always be different from every other square foot made. No two knots, angles, or shapes are ever the same in a weave. There is a lot more freedom and possibility associated with soft rigging than with traditional construction materials, because it's easier to tie a rope between two trees that are 50 feet apart, 30 feet high in the air, than it is to find a rigid metal or wooden support beam of that size, haul it up to that height, and attach it.
Tree Weaves are infinitely more colorful than tree houses. The materials we use come in hundreds of colors, and the ways to combine them artistically are endless. This makes for a setting much more magical (while still more minimal within the landscape) than a traditional treehouse.
Tree Weaves occupy an infinitude of planes. While tree houses typically only exist in the flat planes ordinary buildings exist in (characterized by straight lines, flat surfaces, and right angles), the fabric of a Tree Weave occupies dimensions both surprising and varying. All its lines are curved, all angles irregular. Walls are crossing, slanted, overhanging, and diagonal. This creates a much more interesting perceptual experience of shapes than one gets from a tree house.
Tree Weaves appeal to monkey-like individuals. Anyone who likes climbing, hanging, swinging, dangling, or playing like Tarzan would love getting involved with a Tree Weave. Tree houses, on the other hand, appeal to the individual who wants to appreciate the canopy, but be in a sheltered indoor environment while they do it.
Tree Weaves genuinely bring you closer to nature than a tree house does. In a Tree Weave, you can lie on your stomach while chatting to a friend, and see a squirrel run and bury a black walnut just 7 feet below you. That simply cannot happen from inside a treehouse, because you cannot see through treehouse floors. Thousands of experiences like this over the lifetime of a tree net add up to a much richer, more fulfilling life than one is able to lead within the walls of a custom built tree house.