Humans and trees are the perfect counterparts. We are so completely inverse that we have come to rely on each other in a variety of ways throughout our history. Aside from obvious practices like modern mechanized timber harvesting, humans cultivate trees for food and medicinal qualities as well as the aesthetics provided by flowers and shade. We plant trees to stabilize land, absorb runoff, and block the scouring winds that whip through our fields. And often enough, we opt to live within the security of their mighty boughs.
The Korowai Tribe of Indonesia, whose first exposure to outsiders may have occurred as recently as the 1970s, make their homes in the trees. A Korowai tree house is made from massive ironwood stilts that protect inhabitants from flood waters, arson attacks, and enemy raids.
Here in the States, tree houses have also been growing in popularity. More than the rickety platforms from childhood, this new generation of tree houses has everything from bathrooms and kitchens to second-floor guest rooms. In fact, on the heels of the tiny house boom, tree house B&Bs, tree house resorts, and even tree house contractors have found a market in and around Oregon.
The Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort, located near Cave Junction, sits on 36 acres near Siskiyou National Forest and offers river rafting, horseback riding, zip lines, hiking, and plenty of fresh air relaxing. Thanks to owner Michael Garnier of Out ‘n’ About, the trend in tree house retreating owes its origins to the Pacific Northwest, holding the highest concentration of tree houses worldwide. Garnier even designed a “Garnier limb”—a sliding bracket support system which allows the tree to grow and withstands the test of time, lasting decades instead of a few measly years.
Also in the Cave Junction area is the Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise. Rated one of the top 10 coziest B&Bs by Yahoo, make sure to get your home-cooked breakfast before hitting the trees for a lesson in technical climbing, or just enjoying the day from your private tree deck.
Not interested in taking a trip? Check out the Portland-based SQFT Studios where co-founders Schuyler Silva and Eli Green specialize in creating fun and unique private spaces for your property, tree houses included. Otherwise, hit up the web and scour overloads of DIY information for building your own.
By Anthony Vitale