Darrell Hudson

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Breathtaking Tree Houses

Temple of the Blue Moon: Tree house expert Pete Nelson built this structure on his land in Fall City, Washington
Temple of the Blue Moon: Tree house expert Pete Nelson built this structure on his land in Fall City, Washington

Dense foliage and an abundance of species means that the Northwest of America has seen increasing numbers of tree houses popping up in its canopies.

Many of the lofty homes have been created by Pete Nelson a renowned tree house builder who lives in Fall City, Washington and has written several books on the subject.

In Europe and the U.S., recreational tree houses, for entertaining and as workshops and studios, have become increasingly popular thanks to higher disposable incomes, better technology for builders and growing interest in eco-friendly lifestyles. 

In other parts of the world, tree houses are part of a more traditional way of life. Stilt houses line the banks of many tropical river valleys in South America, particularly in the Amazon and Orinoco.

Walk this way: This tree house in Washington state has a full-scale steel bridge and is supported by two Douglas fir trees
Walk this way: This tree house in Washington state has a full-scale steel bridge and is supported by two Douglas fir trees

Thinking outside the box: The Treehotel, which recently opened 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Sweden is almost invisible among the trunks

Thinking outside the box: The Treehotel, which recently opened 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Sweden is almost invisible among the trunks

Perfect hideaway: The glass cube is constructed from sustainably harvested wood and have underfloor heating
Perfect hideaway: The glass cube is constructed from sustainably harvested wood and have underfloor heating

Most of the tree houses are complete with running water, flushing toilets and electricity. There are also special touches including hot tubs, zip lines, spiral slides, lookout towers and even an iron bridge.

Although tree houses often function as workshops, studios or places for entertaining, there are some people who live their lives permanently above solid ground.

Cute cabin: This Issaquah treehouse has a long staircase which descend to a hot tub deck and zip line platform
Cute cabin: This Issaquah treehouse has a long staircase which descend to a hot tub deck and zip line platform

Mr Guenther, who is originally from Pennsylvania, has said: ‘Why wait until you’re 65 to retire when you can live this way all your life?’

Earlier this year a film entitled Out On A Limb was made about David ‘Squirrelman’ Csaky, a homeless man who came to global attention after Seattle authorities evicted him from the elaborate tree house he had been living in on city property for two years.

After he was evicted from his self-constructed, 300 sq ft home, 52-year-old Mr Csaky’s neighbours were so outraged by his treatment that they clubbed together to buy him a motor home to live in.

Having a ball: Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island, Canada are suspended with webs of rope and can be rented by visitors
Having a ball: Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island, Canada are suspended with webs of rope and can be rented by visitors.

Free as a bird: The spheres sway gently in the breeze and are suspended 10 ft above the forest floor
Free as a bird: The spheres sway gently in the breeze and are suspended 10 ft above the forest floor

Cabin fever: Inside one of the Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island
Cabin fever: Inside one of the Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island

There are several construction methods when it comes to crafting a home in the trees.

Some can be supported by stilts and don’t need the tree to take any of the stress of building materials.

Rope and cable are the most common methods of suspension tree houses but these are among the most difficult to construct and access.

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