|My tree of shame.|
It saddened me to see how the previous owner of my home had hung a flower basket from a tree. Three strands of strong cord were now tight around the limb of the tree. New tree growth in the crotch between two limbs had already covered a portion of the cord, locking it in place. At that time, 11 years ago, the cords completely girded the diameter of the limb. Knowing that as the tree grew the cord would cause further damage to the tree, I slit the cords. Today, the cords remain, dangling from opposite sides of the limb. There is a proper way to hang a basket from a tree that will not damage the tree limb.
Choose the Location
Choose the desired location on the tree limb and how far down you want the flower basket to hang. The location should be far enough away from the trunk of the tree to avoid the planter striking the trunk on windy days. Have someone hold the flower basket beneath the limb at the desired height. Measure the distance from the hook on the hanging basket to the top of the tree limb.
Cut a piece of strong tubing, like from an old garden hose, that is two times the circumference of the tree limb from which the flower basket is to hang. Cut a piece of strong cord, like clothesline cord, twice the length of the dimension taken above (under Choose the Location) PLUS about 18 inches. The extra length will form loops to hold the planter.
Run the cord through the cut piece of tubing, allowing equal amount of cord to hang from each end of the tubing. Create a loop, such as a slip knot, in each end of the cord. Center the tubing over the tree branch and then place the hook of the hanging basket into the loops. Allow the hanging basket to settle beneath the tree limb. If the basket is hanging too low, adjust one loop by cutting off some of the cord on one end. Once the desired location is achieved, use pliers to bend the wire hook of the planter securely around the cord so it will not come free of the loops.
If using a hanging basket with a plastic hook, instead of creating loops at the end of the cord, run the cord beneath the hook where the container supports meet. Tie a knot in the cord.
Periodically check the position of the tubing on the tree to ensure that it has not slipped into the crotch between two tree limbs. In the fall, remove the hanging basket, cord and tubing from the tree. The planter can be hung again in the spring.