The Do's & Don'ts of Adding Holiday Lights to Your Trees

Reading time: 8 minutes

It’s December and we all know what that means! Sitting beside the fireplace, sipping on eggnog, looking outside, marvelling at the amazing view: Trees adorned with twinkling lights, Santa and Rudolph saying hello to passersby.

As we delve into the art of decorating trees with lights, there's an enchanting world waiting to be unveiled—one filled with creativity, tradition, and a touch of magic! But before you hop on this sleigh, we want to help guide you through the do's and don'ts of transforming your trees into stunning beacons of seasonal joy. We’ll talk about some awesome ideas for a creative display and some safety tips.

Let's embark on this illuminated adventure to turn your trees into breathtaking spectacles that evoke wonder and delight in this most wonderful time of the year!

Blue Holiday Lighting Home Snow

How to Light Up Your Trees: A Guide to Safety and Style

Start With the Right Tree

Begin by picking the perfect tree for your bright idea. Not all trees are up for the twinkling challenge, so weigh in some factors:

Age and Health: Choose a mature and healthy tree that can support the weight and heat of the lights. Avoid young or newly planted trees, or trees that are weak or diseased (those need treatment), as they might get damaged or stressed by the lights.

Type and Shape: Think about the tree's characteristics—is it all about that lush, full foliage or more of a sparsely branched vibe? Consider if it's got that classic cone shape or if it's more of a round or free-spirited irregular form. Pick a tree that can showcase your lights in the best way.

Measure the Three

The next step is to measure the tree to determine how many lights you will need and how you will arrange them. You don’t want to end up with too few or too many lights, or a messy and uneven distribution.

A quick tip: shoot for roughly 100 lights per foot of your tree's height. Picture this—a 10-foot tree deserves around 1000 lights to make it dazzle.

Now, let's get down to measuring those branches. Break out a tape measure or a string and check out the length and spacing between the branches. This info is gold for figuring out how to wrap or drape those lights, and making sure there's just enough space between each strand.

And now, the fun part—picking out the lights that'll turn your tree into a festive beacon. Choices, choices! Here are a few things to ponder:

Type and Quality: Grab lights that are tough enough for the great outdoors, and built to withstand the frigid weather. Skip the flimsy stuff that might give up on you. You've got options like LED, solar, or battery-powered lights.

Colour and Style: Match your lights with the whole ambiance of your place. Keep it classic and warm with white or clear lights, or go all-out modern and bold with cool white or a splash of colour. Mix it up if you're feeling fancy, and throw in different colours and styles to create your personal light masterpiece. Some lights even come with different modes:—steady, blinking, chasing, fading—so you can add some variety to your display.

Additional Tips for Winter Tree Care and Holiday Light Display

White Lights House

Now that we've got the basics of winter tree care down, let's dive a bit deeper for some extra tips and tricks. These little nuggets not only keep your trees healthy but also turn your holiday light display into something truly spectacular.

1. DO: Choose the Right Lights

When adding holiday lights to your trees opting for LED lights is a wise choice due to their energy efficiency, emitting less heat when compared to traditional incandescent lights. This is especially crucial for the well-being of your trees since excessive heat can potentially harm the bark and buds.

Make sure your outdoor lights are up to snuff by always looking out for that UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label on the packaging. It's like a stamp of approval, assuring that the lights meet top-notch safety and performance standards. That way, you can light up your outdoor space with total peace of mind. Outdoor-rated lights are weather-resistant and have thicker insulation to prevent electric shocks.

2. DON’T: Tight Wrapping

While it's tempting to tightly wrap lights around tree branches to keep them snug, it can also cause damage. Loosely drape the lights to allow for natural movement.

3. DO: Use Tree-Friendly Fasteners

When securing lights to your trees, choose fasteners that won't harm the bark. Avoid using nails or staples, as they can cause wounds that may lead to infections or pest infestations. Instead, opt for tree-friendly fasteners like soft ties or plastic clips.

4. DO: Conduct An Inspection

Before adorning your trees with lights, conduct a thorough inspection of its branches. Remove any dead or diseased branches, as they can pose a safety hazard and compromise the overall health of the tree. A careful inspection ensures a sturdy foundation for your holiday light display.

5. DO: Check the Lights

Before installing them, inspect the lights for any damage or faults, especially if they were stored from the previous year.

6. Start from the Base

Begin wrapping the lights at the base of the tree trunk and work your way up to the top branches. This will make sure you get even coverage.

7. DO: Limit Exposure Time

While holiday lights can add a festive touch, it's crucial to limit the exposure time to avoid causing stress to your trees. Continuous exposure to artificial lights, especially during the night, can disrupt the tree's natural cycle.

Think about adding timers to the mix to keep your light show in check. For some remote control action, grab a smart plug or a remote control. That way, you can manage those lights from a distance. Plus, set up a timer to shut things down when the sparkle isn't necessary, saving energy and sidestepping any overheating hiccups.

8. DO: Educate Yourself on Local Tree Pests and Diseases

Understanding the specific pests and diseases prevalent in your region is key to effective tree care. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation or infection, and promptly address any issues to safeguard your trees during the winter months.

9. DON’T: Forget about Your Holiday Lights After Christmas

The toughest part about the holiday season isn’t getting the lights up; it’s taking them down. The novelty’s all gone and the holiday spirit’s waning. But here’s the thing: it’s important to pack them back in the same box they arrived in, neatly coiled up so that they’re easily accessible the following year, and you avoid the mundane hassle of detangling tens of lights.

Don’t forget to dry them off well beforehand. It’s been lying in the snow for a month now, and will likely need some TLC to prevent any moisture from creeping in.

10. DO: Call Green Drop for Professional Help

Want to skip out on the holiday lighting hassle? You can have the dazzle without the disturbance with our professional holiday lighting services. Our experts take care of the creativity and the execution of holiday lighting.

Green Drop Holiday Lighting Sign

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is winter tree care essential before adding holiday lights?

Winter tree care prepares trees for extreme cold temperatures, ensuring vitality and a vibrant spring return, setting the stage for a stunning holiday light display.

Can I add lights to young or weak trees?

It’s best to go for mature, sturdy trees to handle the weight and heat of lights. Young or fragile trees may get damaged or stressed.

What lights are suitable for outdoor use?

Do not use indoor lighting for outdoor use. Choose durable, weather-resistant lights labeled for outdoor use. LED lights are energy-efficient and emit less heat, reducing the risk of damage to trees.

How can I secure lights without harming the tree?

Use tree-friendly fasteners like soft ties or plastic clips. Avoid nails or staples that can cause wounds.

Is Green Drop available for consultation?

Yes, Green Drop is available for consultation and services throughout the year. Get in touch with our experts to discuss your tree care and lighting needs and create a plan for year-round health and beauty.

Why should I choose Green Drop for my tree care needs?

Green Drop is committed to providing top-notch holiday lighting and tree care services, focusing on keeping your trees green and healthy. Our team of experts is ready to guide you through the seasonal care your trees deserve.

‘tis the season

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