For many, the Christmas season starts as early as November 1st.

The festive season is fast approaching, which means it’s time for hot drinks, colorful Christmas lights, and holiday tunes blasting throughout the house. There’s no better way to ring in the holiday season than by decorating the outside of your home with brilliant, sparkling lights.

With that said, improper stringing or draping of lights on trees and shrubs can have negative effects on your landscaping and can pose a potential fire hazard.

Whether you like having lights on every inch of the tree, or prefer a more subtle look, it’s essential you hang them in a safe manner, both for the tree’s safety and for yours.

The Dangerous Side of Decorative Tree Lighting

It’s hard not to love the colorful lights enveloping the trees during the holiday season. However, if hung incorrectly, the lights can cut into growing trees and kill them in the process.

tall trees light up with christmas lights

Underneath the bark lies a network of tissues that distributes minerals, water, and other nutrients the tree needs.

When these connections are cut off by an object being wrapped too tightly, essential nutrients can no longer be distributed.

Trees can handle being wrapped with the lights for a few years, but once they grow too big, the lights will start to dig in and strangle the plant.

Tips on Safely Hanging Outdoor Lights

The holiday season is not complete without Christmas decorations, whether it’s in the form of bright lights or plastic reindeer.

Before hanging your lights, be sure that they’re made for the outdoors and can withstand the harsh winter climate. Some of the most common outdoor lights include LED, incandescent, globe, ceramic, and net lights.

If you’re reusing old Christmas lights, check to make sure they’re still in good condition.

man safely hanging christmas lights using ladderSome lights are susceptible to fraying, depending on the area they’re stored. If you notice any damage to the cords, you should dispose of them immediately, as they can cause electric shocks if plugged in.

Once you’ve decided on the type of lights you’re going to use, begin taking measurements of the area you’ll be hanging them in.

When securing the lights, avoid using staples, tacks, and nails. Instead, opt for plastic holders and clips, since they can be used on both the eavestrough and tree branches.

If you’re planning on hanging lights on a live tree, be sure to keep it watered and healthy. In the case of a fire, a hydrated tree will burn much slower than a dry one.

Professional Arborist Services in Ottawa

With the Christmas season right around the corner, it’s time to bring out the festive decorations.

Before bringing out the ladder and extension cords, take some time to plan and gather all the supplies you’ll need. This will ensure your decorating will go without a hitch.

Some trees are better suited than others to withstand the weight of holiday lights and decorations. Ensure your trees remain healthy and ready to resist the cold climate with the help of our expert Ottawa arborists.

Reach out to us to learn more about our tree care services and get a free, no-obligation quote today.