1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Tree Lights: How to Wrap Trees With Outdoor Lights


1 of 4

Tree Lights: How to Wrap a Tree With Outdoor Lights
USA, New York State, New York, Brooklyn
Nivek Neslo/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Outdoor and holiday designers and decorators have seen the light and they aren't returning to the dark side anytime soon. One is not enough--soon every trunk, branch and limb that resembles a tree gets wrapped and lighted for the annual outdoor holiday display. Bare, leafless trees -- known as deciduous -- are the best types to be wrapped with lights. At night, their trunks and branches become magical, especially horizontal-spreading varieties. Palm tree trunks wrapped with white or red lights show off their vertical, upright forms at night and draw the eye upward toward the clear night sky.

What's the best way to start illuminating the trees in your yard? For starters, pick a tree that's a focal point. What to look for:

  • Size is obvious here. If you have a big tree in your yard that's the centerpiece of the landscape, light it up!
  • Shape: Stand back and survey your front (or back) landscape. Which tree(s) have the most interesting shapes this time of year, sans leaves? An umbrella-shaped tree or one that has horizontal-spreading branches is more noticeable when illuminated.
  • Strength: Don't be so quick to wrap or cover a new or fragile tree with lights, just because the tree is there, in your yard. Find another specimen to adorn with lights and let the young sap become a mighty oak. Or Poplar. Or Maple.
  • Budget and number of lights and atrands: You know that old saying, "A little goes a long way?" That does not apply when wrapping a tree in lights. Think about it: depending on the circumference of the trunk, each time you wrap those lights 'round and 'round, there goes another 20, 30-or so twinkling lights. A tree that is wrapped with light strands one-third the way up its trunk is not going to look, ummm, festive or complete. Plan and budget accordingly. Start small and add more lights each year.

Ready to wrap your trees and dazzle the neighborhood?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.