Can you mount your dish to a tree?

Visit the California mountains, and you’ll see sights like this one quite often. It’s probably common in other areas as well, but California redwoods grow slowly and dead-straight, making them tempting candidates for mounting a dish when putting one up on your home isn’t possible. Nail it to a tree, run a cable, and you’re in business, right? You would certainly think so.

Hold on there, bucko…

Let’s for a moment say that you’re not worried about damaging the tree. After all, trees are pretty resilient things and a couple of bolts probably won’t stop them from growing. It could leave a scar on the tree that persists for hundreds of years, but let’s pretend you don’t terribly care about that. Honestly though, the health of the tree isn’t really the issue here.

Let’s also say that you’re not afraid to climb the tree. There isn’t a lot of benefit to putting a dish at eye level; you’re probably considering it because the tree is 50 feet tall and you want to get that dish up high enough so it has a clear view of the sky. You’re probably eyeing an older tree with enough height that you can get the dish where you want it.

One more thing. Let’s finally say for a moment that you’re willing to do the work to properly ground everything. Because remember, putting a big chunk of metal up high is going to make lightning strikes on that tree more common. Aside from feeling awfully bad if your dish kills an old tree, there’s also the whole “forest fire” angle to consider.

Here’s the problem you should consider

The problem with putting your satellite dish on a tree is it’s not going to work for long. Trees do grow slowly, but even a mature redwood could grow enough in just six months to throw your dish out of alignment. If you put the dish up fairly high, you’ll be amazed at just how much trees sway. You can’t tell it from the ground, but even 20 feet up a tree could sway enough to throw your dish out of alignment. Constantly.

So folks, a tree isn’t a good solution. They may look like they’re super-stable towers, but they aren’t. Chances are you’ll lose service at the exact moment that you really shouldn’t be climbing up to adjust your dish, like in a lightning storm. If you’re having trouble getting a dish up high enough for satellite TV, you should definitely consider a tower solution from Solid Signal. I completely admit that it’s not going to be as inexpensive as simply bolting your dish to a tree, but it’s a trouble-free way of making sure your dish is where it needs to be for years to come. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

Call the experts at Solid Signal

If you’re looking for a tower, give the professionals at Solid Signal a call at 888-233-7563 and we can show you the right way to mount a satellite dish. By now, I hope you agree that putting it on a tree is the wrong way. They can recommend a tower solution that makes sense for your location. Towers may seem scary, but really if you can turn a wrench and pour some quick-dry concrete, you have the skills it takes to put up an antenna tower. It doesn’t have to be one of those massive ones you see on the side of the highway (although it could be if you wanted, we sell those.) It can be exactly the tower you need and our experts will give you all the free advice that it takes to get you there.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.