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  • Writer's pictureRussell Fey

Should Or Shouldn't--A Guide To Holiday Decorating For Your Trees

Holiday Lights

The holidays are suddenly upon us, and with a need to beautify spaces that we may have occupied for months, many of us are looking for innovative ways to bring festivity to the season. In addition to decorating inside, we homeowners may look for ways to make the outside of our home reflective of seasonal celebration as well, and we may even extend this creativity to our landscape.

Decorating trees: Do and Don't

With all of the information surrounding trees' health and safety, your friendly neighborhood arborist would like to provide you with tips on how to safely decorate without putting you or your foliage at risk for damage. Following these simple yet specific steps will ensure that your trees stay healthy and protected, even with a few extra lights.

  1. Choose outdoor lights. Outdoor LED lights are best for outdoor decorating; they are built to withstand all types of weather conditions and provide the look you are going for without risking damage to your trees. Choosing a single color or going multicolor and staying with that theme will create a beautiful landscape that adds cheer to your whole neighborhood.

  2. Assess your tree for good health. Wrapping a tree that is diseased or compromised will do further damage to your landscape. Ensure that the trunk and branches you want to cover are in good health, with no evidence of infestation or damage to the bark. If you have any questions about whether a tree is healthy enough to decorate, a trained arborist can assess your tree and provide safe and effective wrapping recommendations.

  3. Test your light strands and assemble equipment before starting. There's no need to Clark Griswold your way through this landscaping project; assemble all the equipment you'll need and test your light strands and other connecting equipment before you begin. Make sure to have a ladder on hand and consider asking another member of the family to spot you and provide assistance with grabbing needed materials if you are in the process of wrapping. You will be much happier with the result if you spend some time preparing beforehand.

  4. Measure your tree and lay out the cord. Measuring the circumference of your tree trunk and the height and circumference of branches you wish to wrap will give you a rough idea of how much cord you'll need. Prepare and purchase additional light strings if needed, knowing that you can return unopened packages once your project is completed.

  5. Begin by wrapping from base to branch. Even the most scantily clad tree looks better if it is wrapped starting at the base of the tree. Check the distance between windings with your hands and adjust accordingly as you go up and outward. For branches that are beyond your reach when standing on the ground, use a ladder to complete branch wrapping, and ask someone to help with handing you materials and stabilizing the ladder itself if you are on uneven ground. If you are working around snow or wet soil, make sure that lights are not plugged into a power source until you have finished wrapping and are safely back on the ground.

  6. Secure the end of the string. To avoid having to wrap your trees repeatedly, find a way to securely tuck the end of the last light string underneath a branch, another light string, or the crook of a tree. Nothing is more frustrating than having to re-do a project like tree wrapping, which could take a considerable amount of time and planning.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Fey And Sons is a team of knowledgeable arborists who care about you, your home, and the health of your trees. We understand just how vital it is for you to provide your family with a festive holiday season, and we can assist with all matters related to tree health and landscape planning. For a little extra boost of confidence in planning your light project this season, consider contacting us for an assessment of the health of your trees. Visit for more information and have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

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