Nature designs have inspired many architectural works and technological advancements in today’s world. Trees are one of nature’s pattern and share similar mechanics as in civil engineering structures (e.g. buildings). From literature, trees are able to transfer load efficiently. To identify the effectiveness of having a triangular profile similar to nature, a set of cantilever beams with various geometrical projection are analysed under transverse loading. Standard triangle (ST) cantilever beam was the best overall design. However, it was also found that the method of tensile triangles (MTT) cantilever beam was able to improve cantilever designs if the projection remains small. Thus, demonstrating why buttresses do not exist along with its entire tree height. The results obtained do not discard its potential as it may be more suitable in other civil engineering applications. © 2021, The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.