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What trees are good for kids to climb?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I want to plant some kind of relatively fast growing, low, gnarly tree that is good for learning to climb. My daughter is a big time climber, and I always liked climbing trees as a kid, she's 2.5 now, hoping I can plant something that will be good for climbing whn she's school age. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 20
i can't think of anything that's fast growing and a good climber. i always loved climbing in maples as a kid, but don't know that they're fast growing. pines are fast growing, but not the best climbers. maybe somebody else can be more helpful...
post #3 of 20
That is hard.

I'd probably have to say a fruitless mulberry. They can be a wonderful tree if the conditions are perfect. They are a beautiful tree when they aren't ruined by poor pruning - as most of them around here are. There are hideous examples of mulberry tree butchery all over my town.

It's very fast growing and provides beautiful shade. It makes a wonderful climbing tree.

But it has big negatives. The roots can be very invasive. Unless you have excellent drainage, it will eventually raise the ground up at the base and give you lots of surface roots. Next to your foundation, driveway, sidewalks, pool, septic or underground water or sewer pipes you're asking for trouble with these trees.

I have excellent drainage and my fruitless mulberry has mounded some. But it's in a good location where the roots aren't going to cause a problem.
post #4 of 20
post #5 of 20
We have Cherrie tree's that ds 5 climbs, I think they grow fast. They were here and big when we moved in, but we live in a town that farms cherries and any new orchards, semm to grow fast.
post #6 of 20
I'd avoid fruits and willows. They grow fast, but are weak.
post #7 of 20

we have an apple tree that the kids love to climb
post #8 of 20
Cottonwood? They grow really really fast.
post #9 of 20
When me and my 3 brothers were growing up our favourite trees to climb were the apple trees
post #10 of 20
corkscrew or curly willow

we planted a sprig in 99 and our guys have been climbing since 2003
post #11 of 20
not sure how fast, but i climbed mimosas growing up!!
post #12 of 20
For the most part, the faster a tree grows, the weaker the branches are, and vice-versa. I'm interested in bonbon mama's curly willow, though! Do you have a picture of your tree?
post #13 of 20
Japanese maple, Alaskan cedar and fig trees are three good climbing trees that we have in our yard. Lots of low branches.

The fig tree in particular grows pretty fast.

Best wishes,
post #14 of 20
Originally Posted by kati6110
The fig tree in particular grows pretty fast.
Does it?

Fig trees were my absolute favorite climbing tree as a child. We had a dozen huge figs at least--you could climb them, build forts in them, build forts *under* them, snack on them . Even my cat lived in the hollow of one like Winnie The Pooh. She'd raise her kittens inside.

Only drawback? Sticky milk sap, and sometimes ants. I didn't mind too much though.
post #15 of 20
How long do dogwoods take to grow? I know they're kinda small but we had one in our front yard that I loved to climb as a kid.
post #16 of 20
Redbuds are pretty and low-brancing, but brittle. Dogwoods are suseptible to disease in some areas.

How about Japanese maple? You can get a low-branching one. We trained many cats to climb trees in ours. And pretty too!
post #17 of 20
lol I just saw the title and was coming to post "Redbud"

My parents have a nice redbud in their front yard that my kids love to climb. They have climbed it since they were about 2 ish and since they were 3 they could both get on the lowest branch by themselves. They love their "purple tree" as they call it.
post #18 of 20
i think dogwoods grow too slow.

maybe a white pine? they grow pretty fast. we had a huge one growing up that my older sister had picked out as a live christmas tree when she was little before i remember. she's 6.5 yrs older than me. i remember climbing it as a kid when it was higher than the roof of our 1 story ranch house. it must have gotten that high in just 10-15 yrs. it would totally have been climbable at half the size or less, so maybe when it had been growing for 5 yrs or so? get as big a tree as you can to start with to plant.
post #19 of 20
yeah, dogwoods grow sloow. We planted one in our front yard when I was say 10 and it still is a small tree, couldn't possibly climb it.
post #20 of 20
I'd avoid apple. Good friend of mine broke his pelvis climbing one in his yard as an older child. Branch broke right under him. The docs even said that apple trees aren't good climbers and they tended to get a couple of broken bones each fall from kids goin' after apples...
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