There’s basically nothing better in the world than climbing a tree and watching the world go by from way up in the branches. But when you get to a certain age – say, past 16 or so – climbing trees tends to get a bit more difficult. Designers Robert McIntyre and Thor ter Kulve developed a system that takes the work out of tree climbing and leaves you with just the fun, whimsical part.



CanopyStair is a little like a ladder that you might find leading up to a treehouse – but in this case, the goal at the top isn’t a super-secret hideout. It’s just the opportunity to sit among the leaves and watch life go by below.


The modular, removable system is harmless to the tree and requires no tools to install. Woven ratcheting strips wrap around the tree’s trunk to hold each step in place. Thick pads protect the tree’s bark and keep the stairs themselves from cutting into it. A thin wooden pole connects each stair to a handrail to drastically cut down on the danger factor.



McIntyre and ter Kulve were inspired to create the quirky stairs when staying in the Azores; they wanted a view of the ocean but a stone wall obscured the view, forcing them to climb a tree for the view they desired. CanopyStair can be installed with no special skills or tools. Installation times differ depending on tree girth and height, but a 20-foot set can be installed in around three hours by two people.