One of the greatest joys of childhood is making fortresses with your friends and family that can bring a child’s imagination into a world of fantasy and adventure. The woods in Raleigh and Durham are perfect for building the king of all forts — the treehouse. Parents are a little more cautious these days though and maybe keeping a closer eye on these amateur backyard builders, but that’s probably a good idea.

With safety in mind, parents often ask themselves, which common North Carolina trees are the best for building a treehouse?

  • Maple trees — The Triangle area has many maple varieties, including red and silver maple. Their wood is hard and trunk thick, perfect for a treehouse.
  • Hickory trees — The hickory is another hardwood deciduous tree. Its thick branches can easily support a treehouse. The shagbark hickory is especially prevalent in North Carolina.
  • Oak trees — The English oak, red oak and white oak are all beautiful trees found across the state. Their strong nature makes an excellent choice for treehouses as well.
  • Beech trees —  These large, gray-barked trees make an impressive treehouse location. Their shiny leaves will give the fortress an almost mystical quality as light bounces off them.
  • Tulip trees — A tulip tree is truly massive. They grow quickly and can reach almost 200 feet tall. Their sturdy trunks can support this size though and make good treehouse spots. Just be careful climbing too high!


You may have noticed that all of these are deciduous, meaning they are seasonal growers that lose their leaves for the winter. This is no coincidence. Deciduous trees tend to build sturdy, thick trunks and limbs. Their wood is hard and foundational roots are sturdy.

North Carolina has a lot of pine trees. Our state tree is even the longleaf pine. But you’ve likely noticed these are very thin and tall with few branches until much higher up. Many evergreens, like pines, have softer wood and weaker branches. There are solid evergreens that make good treehouse trees, like the Douglas fir, but in general, it’s better to focus on deciduous hardwoods.

Want a professional opinion? Henry’s can come to take a look!

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Henry’s Tree Service has the expertise in horticulture and tree care to know whether the tree species and the particular tree itself would be suitable for a treehouse. Those in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Morrisville and the surrounding Triangle area, please call (919) 532-9141 today.