Treehouses are platforms or buildings built into a tree. They are constructed around, next to, or in mature trees. They are usually above ground level. Tree houses can be used for recreation, work space or as an observation deck. A tree house can be a peaceful quiet place for seclusion or solitude.
Treehouses are often built for children for play. They are a natural extension of children's love of climbing trees. Treehouses can also be a casual retreat or working space, especially if provided with electricity. In many parts of the world guests can rent a treehouse. They can also stay in a treehouse hotel.
Sometimes they are built for protection against wild animals. In some parts of the tropics, houses are either fastened to trees or elevated on stilts. This is to keep the living quarters above the ground to protect occupants. A tree house can also be a place to store food from scavenging animals. The Korowai, a Papuan tribe in the southeast of Irian Jaya, live in tree houses. Some are nearly 40 metres (130 ft) high (see image below). They are used as protection against a tribe of neighbouring head-hunters, the Citak.
Tree houses are an option for building eco-friendly houses in remote forest areas. They do not require a clearing of a certain area of forest. Because they are elevated or built into forested areas, they are not desirable to some people.
Images for kids
Treehouse Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.