To build your own shady retreat, first choose a tree where you would like to sit in a quiet, secluded area, maybe overlooking a favorite part of the yard. The tree should not be tilted too much and should not have many visible roots. The method of construction is to first build the bench in two sections, then to locate the post holes by holding the bench temporarily in place.
Before You Start:
Purchase or rent a power miter box or radial saw -- something that can make precise 30-degree cuts. Measure your tree's diameter18 inches from the ground to determine the inside dimension of the bench. Use pressure-treated lumber for the posts and supports, and cedar, redwood, orpressure-treated lumber for the seat pieces. Draft at least one helper for the final assembly.
What You Need:
- 4x4 posts
- 2x4s for seats and supports
- 3-inch galvanized deck screws
- 5-inch hex bolts, nuts, and washers
2. Cut the inside pieces. Cut six pieces of 2x4 to be used as the seat pieces closest to the tree. The measurement of the longest side will equal the diameter of your tree. (If you have a fast-growing tree, make them 2 inches longer.) With two helpers, hold up all six pieces around the tree to make sure they are the right size.
7. Dig the postholes. You will probably run into underground roots. Do not cut large roots, or you may kill the tree. As a general rule, any root less than 1 inch in diameter can be cut. Some post holes -- nomore than three -- can be left shallow. Shorten the posts accordingly. Be sure the holes are wide enough.
8. Install the posts. Cut six4x4 posts to the correct length -- the depth of the hole plus 16 inches. Cut a ten on one end so that the post will fit into the bench support. With your bench sections upside down, install each post, fastening it securely with a 5-inch hex bolt, a washer, and a nut.