For those of us that love to display our holiday spirit with outdoor light displays, we can all agree that the goal is a warm holiday glow from the lights not from flames in our trees. With these holiday light hanging tips for outdoor trees you can create a festive, beautiful, and safe light display around your home.
Start by inspecting your light strings right when you take them out of storage or even out of a brand new unopened box. Most, about two thirds to be exact, of holiday light-related fires are caused due to electrical issues. The National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA, nfpa.org), recommends using outdoor light strings that have a label showing they are rated for outdoor use by Underwriters Laboratories. You may have seen their label on lights already in the form of UL. Avoid wrapping lights with frayed wires or other visible damage around any tree or shrub and check the directions for how many strings can safely be plugged together. The average limit of light strings that should be attached together is three.
Now that you know your lights are in good working condition you want to make sure you have what you need to hang them safely. If you have really tall trees and high ambitions of hanging lights all the way up the tree you will want a tall enough ladder and a friend. Many people end up in emergency rooms due to falls from ladders during the holidays.
With the right equipment, and properly working lights you are ready to start hanging them in your trees. You want to wind the light strings tight enough so that they don’t get blown off in the wind, but loose enough to prevent damage to your plants. Just below the tree bark is a vascular system that transports water and nutrients from a tree’s roots to its tips. If lights are wrapped too loosely the cord can rub against the tree bark in the wind and cause damage. One way to prevent bark damage from happening is to secure your extension cord with strong tape up the trunk and secure lights with twist ties being careful not to secure too tightly.
Lastly, make sure to remove your holiday lights by spring at the very latest. As the weather begins to warm up again the tree will begin to grow and swell and cords wrapped just right around the tree can become tight and begin to strangle growing branches.
For more help with winter tree care in Kirkland and surrounding areas; including pruning, storm care, determining the fitness of your trees and more feel free to contact the team at Lineage Tree Care anytime.