Hi, I am new to the Knothole, and I have a big decision to make. I would welcome any advice on the matter.
Last fall I purchased my first home in Charlotte, NC. I bought it specifically for the trees on the property. As my friends (also Certified Arborists) came over to see the new place, we all came to the same conclusion: To not put a swing in the massive American Beech on the back hill would be a crime.
Let me fill you in on the details.
The "hill" in the back part of my property is almost a cliff, about 60 degrees or so, to a creek at the bottom, some 65-70 feet. Three quarters of the way down, off to the right, is a mature, 100-100 foot Beech. The hillsides on either side of the creek are covered in American Beech, almost 70% of the trees. So the Beech has a limb of good size protruding out to the left and there is a clear path to send the rider on a swing that, from point of origin to the swing's attachment is at least 45 feet, for a total swing distance of about 90 feet over open air and about 40-50 feet off the ground. Sound scary?
So before I pose my questions as to the liability issues this swing would raise, I have given the matter a full six months of serious deliberation. If this swing were to be installed, I would make sure that it is a closed system, with the rider in a full-body harness and clipped into the rope swing. I'd use a bull rope, and through the years I have personally installed dozens of high quality, hair-raising tree swings. I would make the swing as safe as possible and restrict it's unauthorized use by making it impossible to untether the swing unless the Beech is climbed, or some similarly technical method.
My questions are (finally) :
1.Is this worth the liability to myself and my house?
2. How do I broach the subject with my insurance company (as I assume I should)?
3. If this thing goes up, anybody care for a swing?
Thanks for the consideration,
Stephan Zimmerman #SO1924
Sounds like fun! I think it is wise to ask your insurance agent about this. Possibly a special rider on your regular policy to cover this.
“If you build it, they will come.” No matter what you do to restrict access, someone will figure a way to beat it. And 40 feet is a long way to fall into water.
PS: It was a pleasure to meet you at the ASCA Academy, Stephan
Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
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