Can Christmas Lights Damage Landscaping Trees?

Kings Mountain NC tree serviceOne of the favorite pastimes of our Kings Mountain NC tree service company during the holiday season is driving around different neighborhoods and seeing all the homes and their landscaping lit up with Christmas lights. These lights are stunning, but did you know they can pose a threat to your landscaping? Your lawn and landscaping were an investment to install and to maintain every month; you don’t want your Christmas lights to damage them. Making sure the lights are installed correctly and taken down within a timely manner are the first steps to making sure the lights don’t damage your landscaping trees that you have invested in.

Can Christmas Lights Kill Trees? | Kings Mountain Tree Service

First and foremost, make sure to inspect your holiday lights. Only outdoor rated lights are safe for outdoor use as they are able to withstand the elements. There are tags or labels on the strings of lights that should say if they are safe for indoor or outdoor use. Inspect your lights to make sure there are no frayed wires or other sort of damage that could start a fire. Make sure to follow manufacturer's directions for the number of light strings that can be attached together as this can be a fire concern. The average is usually three strings of lights plugged together; more than this could cause a system overload and create a power outage.

When wrapping lights around the tree trunks and branches, be sure to not wrap too tightly as this can lead to damage to your landscaping trees. Your trees, shrubs, and other landscaping plants are alive and growing, and tightly wound lights are damaging to their vascular system that moves the nutrients throughout the tree. These living plants are also growing and tightly wrapped trunks and branches will constrict and kill the plant as they grow; therefore, lights should not be left up year-round on these trees. It is recommended to remove lights no more than three to four months after installation so as not to damage these wrapped plants. Be sure not to install lights too loosely either or they can be blown loose by wind and other weather storms. The loose lights could rub bark off the trees they are installed on or break loose and cause damage around the neighborhood.

Evergreen trees that are strictly outdoor landscaping decoration can have their lights left on year round as they will not cause damage like with wrapped trees and trunks. Keeping your evergreens properly maintained is critical and M & M Total Kings Mountain NC tree service can help you keep them healthy and ready for decoration. Lights on these trees should be wrapped a little more loosely compared to other trees and should be hung evenly around branches. When lights are installed like this, they do not hurt the growth of your evergreen trees. If the tree is less than ten feet tall, it is easy enough to remove the lights, but for bigger trees lights can be left up to reduce stress of installation. It all depends on your preference. A concern with any lights left up, but especially with evergreen trees, is the potential of squirrels or other critters eating through some of the light's wiring. If that happens, it just means the strand of lights should be replaced.

As long as Christmas lights are properly installed, meant for outdoor use, and have no damage to their wiring, they should not cause damage to your outdoor landscaping trees. Be sure when installing lights that are high up, you have the help of a partner for safety concerns, like holding the ladder. About 3,000 incidents a year in the emergency room are attributed to falls from installing holiday lights. If you want to avoid the possibility of an emergency room trip and ensure your lights are properly installed to avoid damage, consider having them professionally installed. Contact our Kings Mountain NC trees service, today.

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