Our Tree Has Earrings

We have a lot of trees around our house. A few maple, box elder and one lone walnut tree. A couple of our maple trees are really old and interesting and I love them. The one in the front yard by the garage gives us shade on our deck and the kids like to sit in the windows in the bedroom and watch life going on in the tree when they can’t get outside on the porch. The great big huge one in the back yard is so fabulous and interesting

When I climbed up in the tree yesterday I took this picture of two limbs that have grown together

Last winter my parents helped us tap this tree for sap to make maple syrup.

The sap we got was little and not great, so we’re hoping for a better turn out next winter. Anyway, Michael and I both love this tree! It’s just like our house – full of character. It also sits pretty close to Brady’s garden that we are slowly creating as a backyard oasis in the middle of town.

We want our house to be a place where our nieces an nephews love to come play and stay. We have inside toys for them (we’re slowly getting more of those) but we have nothing for them to do outside except a walk to the park a couple blocks away. With the help of Pinterest, I have a ton of ideas for the kids for next summer and it will take until next summer to finish them so we had to get started and finish at least one this summer. Thus, it was time to give our tree some earrings. Hanging something from a tree should be pretty easy right? Just throw a rope over! Just to be sure I did a little searching on This Old House and found out that is bad for the tree and can cause a wound on it. Instead you’re supposed to drill through the tree using a spade bit like this one

Use an eye bolt held in place by a washer and two nuts and then if you’re using a rope you need a thimble two wrap the rope around

So Michael got out the ladder and climbed up in the tree and started drilling. Evidently the tree they were drilling into in the This Old House tutorial was not a maple tree because it did not work very well for us. For us, drilling through the tree was not so easy. The spade bit got stuck in the tree. We started with our cordless drill (it’s a Hitachi one like this from Lowes)

It drilled into the tree about 2 inches then stopped. We have never had anything that this drill couldn’t get through so we were pretty surprised. Surely the corded drill could get it (also a Hitachi and like this one from Lowes). The corded drill didn’t move it at all. So there it sat

Michael, armed with a hammer and some vice grips was finally able to get it out of the tree, but the problem still remained that we were two inches into the tree and we had another 6 or 7 to go. Michael got out the heavy duty drill with a 1/2 inch bit and went back to work. A combination of the good ol’ heavy duty 1/2″ low speed Craftsman drill (that is at least 20 years old) and the trusty cordless drill (that we absolutely love and highly recommend even if it didn’t drill through our maple tree). Michael thought that there should be some eye candy in this post for the guys, so here ya go

When Michael was drilling into the tree he said it felt like there was sap stopping it from drilling so he also got out the trusty Liquid Wrench that we always have on hand and evidently that worked easier

Two hours later, there were two holes in our favorite tree.

The 1/2 inch eye bolts were put in so the eye is on the bottom side of this tree limb

On the top side of the limb we added two washers (to be safe) and the nut that came with the eye bolt and another grade 8 lock nut – for the record, I have no idea why grade 8 or the lock part of the nut is important. I was a girl in a hardware store and I know that I just set the feminist movement back a few years with that statement. Sorry. Anyway, it looks like this from the top side

There you have it. Our tree’s new earrings

Ready to hang a…

Next week I will be guest posting over at Lovely Crafty Home and sharing the completion of this project and showing you what’s going to be hanging from the tree’s new bling.

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