I worked up another figure before you posted, will share anyway.
I wondered if when you split the spreader after shortening the length of the line from spreader to suspension rings, you were trying to lower the ridgeline. The diagram in the attachment explains how you could control the length of the ridgeline independently of the suspension. This is looking at the hammock from above. Rather than have two ridgelines from spreader bar end to spreader bar end, you make those connections but then run them to a center line. The forces on the ridgeline (recall TeeDee's analysis) aren't that large. With strong cord you could tie knots and avoid the added weight of more rings. This in turn lets you extend the length of the lines from spreader to suspension rings all the way to the tree if you like, just using enough webbing around the tree to let you tighten things up comfortably. The long lines here reduce the compression force on your spreader----which might be of interest if that spreader is your hiking pole and you didn't remember to bring a spare
of course, you guys have the real deals to play with, and all I've got is powerpoint. Have at it, and don't mind the peanut gallery.
Oh that's interesting!
No idea if it will work though. I 'll see if I can try it out.
"Man is a stream whose source is hidden." RWE