The Perfect Treehouse: From Site Selection To Design & Construction, by Django Kroner
What is it that makes a treehouse perfect? The author of this book has lived in treehouses and clearly is writing for and to people who similarly not only want a treehouse but want it to be a house and not only a place for children to play. Like many children growing up, I wanted to build a treehouse when I was young and like many adults, I realize that the desire to live in a tree while enjoying some of the pleasures and luxuries of life is not something that always fades away with age. Indeed, quite often reaching adulthood means celebrating the ways that one can expand one’s dreams and find a place that is somewhat secretive and secure, a place where one can rise above the sorts of things that get us down in life. The author certainly does not minimize the work that must be done in order to build a treehouse in such a way that provides a solid structure while also ensuring the life and health of the tree(s) that one is using for support, and that makes this book an enjoyable and practical guide to treehouses and not merely an escapist guide to a sort of construction that is often sadly overlooked.
This book is a bit less than 150 pages and is divided into three parts. After an introductory preface and introduction the first part of the book discusses the importance of planning one’s treehouse, which includes a discussion on such matters as the location of the treehouse, as well as how one selects trees, climbs the trees, prunes, tools of the trade, as well as how one attaches the structure to the tree. After this there is a section on building the treehouse, which includes a discussion of treehouse design, as well as some discussions about the rigging that is used in construction as well as the build. Quite a few photos follow that provide a gallery of treehouses, some of which are ornate and fancy treehouses that are as big and as expensive as some ground-built construction, with electricity provided to the treehouses as well as fancy doors and windows and elaborate stairwells inside and outside the treeouse. The book is then concluded with a glossary and index and some information about the author as well as some suggestions for further reading for those who enjoyed this particular volume.
What should someone expect from a book like this? The book provides plenty of photos and some drawings that show treehouses being made as well as a great deal of information about the Canopy Crew that the author is a part of. The author shares his own approach, including his ethical perspective, when it comes to how one should treat trees even as one is using them as the basis for structural support. This is not the sort of book that provides the detailed information that one would need in order to build one’s own treehouse, although other such guides exist. On the other hand, this book definitely can encourage one to think about what designs one would want to create and what sort of people one might want to hire in order to help turn those visions into a reality, for a suitably large amount of money. And if this book is not quite everything I would hope for in a book on treehouses, it certainly is an enjoyable enough book that helps to explain the appeal of such buildings in a way that is generally accessible to many readers, and that is a worthwhile achievement.