Does “tree-borne raft” mean that the raft is made of trees (woods)?
Freddy wants a tree-house, and I always meant to build one in the copper beech. Nothing fancy – just a sort of tree-borne raft, like the one me and David Ockeridge built in his dad’s orchard, when we were kids in Black Swan Green. In my daydream I’d tell Fred that the copper beech is guarding his prezzie, and I’d watch him run down, find the rope ladder, and climb up to a better, leaf-shushed world. The thought of another man building Freddy’s tree-house in an ordinary green beech made me hurl my trowel through the shed window.
(Excerpt from David Mitchell’s The Massive Rat.)
A tree house (or tree fort, or tree hut) is built in the trees, usually for children to play in, on, or around.
Some tree houses can be immensely elegant, with walls, windows and a roof. Others are nothing more than a "tree floor," where children must use their imaginations to turn their hideaway-in-the-trees into anything more elaborate.
We have an ambiguity problem, then. When an author uses the term "tree house," the reader could imagine anything from the rather palatial tree house on the left, to the very basic tree house on the right.
In this case, the author wants to make it clear that he his talking about the kind of tree house on the right, so he elaborates with the phrase tree-borne raft, meaning, just a basic raft (or raft-like structure), up in the trees.
Just as a water-borne raft is like a boat with no sides, a tree-borne raft is like a tree house with no walls.
Source : Link , Question Author : Lincoln , Answer Author : J.R.