Tree house guy, Pete Nelson, tapped for reality show

July 16, 2013

By David Hayes

When Animal Planet was developing a reality show about building tree houses, producers knew there was only one person suited to be their host — Tree House Guy Pete Nelson.

Renowned locally for the five tree houses that make up Tree House Point in Fall City, Nelson has been creating the designer nature retreats for more than 25 years.

Courtesy of Animal Planet Pete Nelson, of Preston, stands on the bridge to the Treehouse Taphouse that his crew from Nelson Treehouse and Supply constructed for an Ohio family.

Courtesy of Animal Planet
Pete Nelson, of Preston, stands on the bridge to the Treehouse Taphouse that his crew from Nelson Treehouse and Supply constructed for an Ohio family.

Nelson built his first tree house with his dad when he was 5. With more than 200 of the structures under his belt, the head of Nelson Treehouse and Supply initially balked at the idea of appearing on television.

“Honestly, we’ve had a standing order: No reality shows,” he said.

But a determined Animal Planet producer convinced him that now was the time to get this topic out there. He admitted he didn’t realize how much fun it would be.

“This is our time in the sun. I wanted to have fun, but I’ve ended up having more fun than I ever thought I would,” Nelson said.

Launched May 31, each Treehouse Masters episode kicks off with Nelson meeting with clients wanting his services for a tree house on their property. The homeowner gives a general outline of what he or she wants, Nelson assesses the property’s landscape, and evaluates which trees and locations will work best to bring the client’s dream to fruition.

“I get to meet all these great people. It’s a joyous part of my job going on for years,” Nelson said.

And some of the requests are as unique as the people:

  • An Ohio family wanted a treetop taphouse to showcase their specially crafted beer,
  • A new-age, free spirit novelist wanted a Zen retreat to reignite her creativity,
  • A woman outside Austin, Texas, wanted unique location for her spa retreat.

After consultation, Nelson brings his crew from Treehouse and Supply, which also includes his son Charlie. The 2005 graduate of Issaquah High School joined the team as a carpenter after graduating from college.

While cameras follow the crew throughout the creation of the treetop dwelling, Nelson narrates the trials and tribulations unique to each project. Nelson’s quirky nature comes through in the segments, leaving viewers to wonder if he’s just playing up to the cameras, only to have a crewmember confirm, that, yep, that’s Pete just being Pete.

“My greatest worry is language. We try not to drop any F-bombs, remembering this is a family show,” Nelson said.

Each build presents the opportunity for Nelson to explain that tree-house building is a viable form of architecture.

“My greatest hope is to educate our viewers,” he said. “These types of nonscripted shows are not usually in there for that, but STILETTO (Television) has let me do just that.”

To showcase other builds, Nelson receives a call about mid-show asking for repair help for a nearby tree house. The excursions have taken him from repairing a railing on a tree house in a backyard in Manhattan to bringing up to fire code the world’s largest tree house in Crossville, Tenn.

For the season finale July 19, “Treehouse Masters” follows a local couple that wants a wedding at Treehouse Point.

Nelson said there’s no word yet whether the show has been picked up for another season, but he remains hopeful.

“I don’t know. Comparatively speaking, we’re not ‘Duck Dynasty,’ but I’d love to have another season,” he said.

He added that while he’d love to, admittedly, selfishly build everyone a tree house, he hopes the show inspires others to pursue their own project.

“Do the research if you’re interested and then just go do it,” he said. “Get your friends, kids, family and see it’s not impossible, that it’s a great way of getting back to nature.”


You should know

‘Treehouse Masters’

  • Animal Planet
  • Check your local cable company for channel and air times.
Bookmark and Share
Other Stories of Interest: , , , ,


15 Responses to “Tree house guy, Pete Nelson, tapped for reality show”

  1. Tree house guy, Pete Nelson, tapped for reality show – Issaquah Press » How Articles on July 16th, 2013 9:00 pm

    […] Issaquah Press […]

  2. joyce tanner on July 21st, 2013 1:14 pm

    what was the name of the greens you put on the roof which makes it last 80 years??house was in California . thanks

  3. tamara neal on July 21st, 2013 4:28 pm

    i watch the show and love love love i just have one small requst could u possible send me a x-lg tshirt to where proudly around my town of roseville ca right out side of sacramento thanks ill keep watching . tammi neal 5 marcia way #5 roseville ca 95747

  4. Pamela Jackson on July 21st, 2013 6:02 pm

    I have watched and recorded every single show for this season. You have no idea how much I have enjoyed watching Pete and his crew do things I never dreamed were possible. Hopefully, in one of my future lives, I will come back rich so I can have Pete build me something spectacular that my family can enjoy for generations to come. I hope you have a season 2 Pete. You deserve it!!

  5. pearlywhite on July 24th, 2013 10:13 am

    I think a great place to build a tree house is in a swamp! I know a place that wants a big tree house in their swamp .By zams swamp tour . They have 300 year old cypress trees . To know better about them visit the great people on youtube . Their son is on swamp people ZZ. Please if u want to contact us email me .

  6. pearlywhite on July 24th, 2013 10:14 am

    They would love for yall to build a tree house !

  7. Kathy on July 26th, 2013 3:57 pm

    I love your show!I practically lived in trees when I was a little girl.The thing I love most about your show is it,’s about the treehouses and the talent,not dramaThank you for showing the entertainment world you can have a show without profanity and childish temper tantrums.Again,thank you.

  8. Sue Hancock on July 27th, 2013 8:55 am


    I have watched your show on tree houses and think it is interesting. But I do have a question: Is there plumbing and electricity in the houses? If so, how do you deal with it? I have never heard you discus this on a show.

    Sue Hancock

  9. Jane and Mike SUlivan on July 27th, 2013 7:07 pm

    Pete, recently watched 5 hrs of your show. I have dreamed for the last 10 yrs of building a tree house on our land. We have 3 acres in the country in Noblesville,IN. I am a Naturopath and Massage Therapist specializing in postural alignment work .I do barefoot massage and have practiced for the last 22 yrs. My husband and I built a Zen garden and a 7 circuit Labrynth for 2 of our friends who have now passed away from cancer. It was Memorium gardens. We know our land has a special healing energy and I would appreciate your input on the building of a tree house for a massage studio and healing center. I am interested in a more primitive house, possibly pod shaped. Not as important to have electricity or plumbing. I would be more interested in a green tree house utilizing solar energy. I would appreciate a response even if you are not interested. My cell number is 317-508-7151. We have Walnuts 3 in a triangle shape and an amazing Cotton Wood that sits right on the creek bank. I didn’t know if either is right for this endeavor.
    Blessings and Respect for what you are doing to bring us closer to one of our greatest life sources
    Jane Sullivan

  10. Timm Ross on July 28th, 2013 7:37 am

    Looking for builder,design,price on small tree house for 6 grand kids.must have deck,room for a least 4 bunk beds. I can submit photos of trees if needed.I’m retired Vet.,disabled retired law enforcement. Grand kids my life. Need to keep to minimum .thank you for your time .

  11. Jan Buxton on February 7th, 2014 9:44 pm

    I suppose at 70 I’m still the little girl that wanted to be up in the trees. My daughter says I always want a project going. I’d like one for her enjoyment. She gave up her townhouse to come live with her father and me after he had a very debilitating stroke five years ago. She says she is not totally comfortable inviting dates and friends over as much as she would want. As I was watching your show, I thought maybe a treehouse could be a unique answer to our dilemma! She would have some privacy, but I’m sure she wouln’t mind sharing it with her children, me and many others. What do you think? I would love to discuss it with you to see if it could be a possible yearning come to fruition.
    I surely hope that your show continues for many years to come. It is so very nice to see people do wonderful creative things for others and not have to swear while doing it. I’m sure you have had some very trying situations where those words might normally pop out. You have very high standards for this day and age. It is extremely refreshing. Thank you for bring to television something quite rare.

  12. Jorge Uck on February 17th, 2014 10:37 am

    hi there Pete, am Jorge and I live in Belize, C.A. I enjoy watching your program. I love nature and when I go to my work place I admire and cherish more the trees and my imagination just runs wild and picture houses. I like your energy the way you ‘talk’ to the trees. Excellent program, job you’re doing. keep it up

  13. Bob Frawley on February 23rd, 2014 3:09 pm

    Hi, I just wanted to know the name of the blue ”
    Carpenter’s” vest Pete wears when he is doing work on the show , or where I could buy one , bring a fellow carpenter myself. Thank you !

  14. RON & SANDY SMITH on March 12th, 2014 3:31 am

    Please bring back Pete & his crew for more shows.
    One of the “rare” tv shows for parents & family.
    Plus, Pete is such a likeable man with a talent.

  15. Ila Cheverie on July 21st, 2014 8:20 am

    Hey Pete!

    I am such a huge fan of your show you don’t even know!! Treehouse’s are something special in my life and I just love how you can be one with the trees! I have read your book and it is SPECTACULAR! I can’t wait to read the next! Anyways I am 12
    (almost 13) years old and I live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts! I was thinking about creating this awesome dome-like treehouse out of thick wooden hexagons! We have a bunch of pines in our back yard which doesn’t help because they fall easily but don’t worry, I have two perfect trees planned out!!! My stepdad is the big builder in our family but I am hoping on creating my treehouse myself!!! Your opinions and advice would be so much appreciated because I know a visit must be too much :(. I would hope for some feedback if possible!!! Email:

    love, Ila :)

Got something to say?

Before you comment, please note:

  • These comments are moderated.
  • Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and contribute to its discussion.
  • Personal attacks and/or excessive profanity will not be tolerated and such comments will not be approved.
  • This is not your personal chat room or forum, so please stay on topic.