Your Local Tree Service Explains How to Decorate Trees Safely This Winter


November 20, 2020

For many Coloradoans, the holidays are the best time of year. It’s the perfect opportunity to be with the people you care about and show others how much you love them. This year might be a bit different and the thought of not being able to spend time with family and friends has many homeowners wanting to give back to the community. The best way to do that is to create a holiday lights display that the entire neighborhood can appreciate. Unfortunately, those lights can hurt your trees and landscaping if you’re not careful. Here are a few proven tips from your trusted tree company to help you keep your trees in good shape without having to compromise on your decorations.

Schedule a Trimming Now

The best thing you can do to protect your trees from damage when you start decorating is to wait to decorate until you schedule a tree trimming appointment. Let your tree company inspect your trees for signs of damage or weak limbs that might pose a safety hazard when you start hanging decorations. If they notice anything problematic, they’ll be able to remove the damaged parts of the tree so you can hang lights safely. It’s also a good idea to let them inspect your shrubs for signs of decay or disease. Remember, even lightweight decorations can put strain on the branches. If the branches are suffering, the decorations may end up damaging them beyond repair.

Choose the Right Lights

The type of lights you choose will influence the impact that your light display will have on passersby. Choosing the wrong lights will make it look underwhelming at best and threaten the safety of your trees at worst. Make sure you’re choosing the right options. Look for holiday lights that are specifically designed for use outdoors. If you can, choose options with LED bulbs instead of heat-producing incandescent bulbs. This will help keep the temperature around your tree more consistent and reduces the likelihood of sparks or fires over the winter months. If you’re not sure what types of lights are best for your yard, talk to your local garden supply store or tree care expert. They’ll be able to recommend the best options for your home so you can enjoy some holiday cheer without damaging your trees.

Hire a Professional to Hang Them

Though hanging lights seems like a simple job, it’s anything but. Not only do you have to wrap the lights evenly, but you also have to work at heights that you might not be comfortable with. The last thing you want to do during the holiday season is to rush to the hospital after falling off of a ladder. Instead of trying to hang lights in your trees on your own, hire an experienced professional. They’ll be able to hang lights safely while also reducing the risk of damage to your trees.

Use Lightweight Ornaments

Though most homeowners choose to decorate with lights, those lights are only effective when the sun sets. This makes your yard look underwhelming and not festive during daylight hours. If you can, hang lightweight ornaments to provide holiday cheer during the day. Make sure the ornaments you choose are made of lightweight plastic to reduce the risk of shattering during windstorms. If you notice the limbs of any trees or shrubs starting to sag under the weight of certain ornaments, remove them. If you let those heavy ornaments stay in place all winter long, you risk doing long-term damage to your trees and shrubs. 

Avoid Heavy Lawn Decorations

Heavy decorations won’t just hurt your trees—they’ll hurt your lawn, too. Be selective in the types of lawn decorations you add to your yard. Inflatables, wooden cutouts, and other lightweight options are ideal choices for homeowners who prize their lawns during the warmer months. Remember, dormant lawns still need oxygen in the soil. Heavy decorations compact the soil, making it hard for your lawn to spread roots deep into the ground. This will cause your springtime growth to look underwhelming. Worse, you might even end up with a brown spot that you won’t be able to fix without aerating the lawn and spreading new seed. If you do want to use a heavy lawn decoration, take it down at the end of the day and store it on a paved or non-soil surface. This will help the grass recover more quickly and reduces the risk of long-term damage.

Decorate the House Instead if You Can

If you have younger trees or less established plants, you may not want to hang lights and decorations on them at all. That doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the holiday spirit and create a light display that rivals the others on your block. It just means you need to get creative. Instead of hanging lights on your trees, hang them on the house itself. Outline the roof in twinkle lights. Upgrade the outdoor light fixtures with colorful light bulbs to bathe your landscaping in different shades. Use decorative stake lights to line walkways and driveways in holiday cheer. These simple additions are a great way to make your house look festive without putting your landscaping at risk. Even better, you can go all-out and combine decorations on your trees with lights on your house. It all depends on what your budget is and how much you’re willing to put into the display.

Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive

The holidays are a time for celebration. Show off your holiday spirit without putting your landscaping at risk by following these tips this winter. When you do, you’ll have a yard that drives your neighbors wild and spreads joy to anyone who passes by. Just make sure you’re caring for your trees throughout the winter months. If at any point you think the decorations are hurting your trees or you notice a sagging limb after a heavy snowfall, contact us to schedule an appointment. We’ll make sure your trees are healthy so you can depend on their growth in the spring.
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