If you celebrate the winter holidays, part of your annual decorating effort probably involves strings of sparkling exterior lights. Some people prefer to go monochromatic and classy for the season, while others love the warmth and festivity of multicolored lights. Whatever your lighting choices may be, you'll need to take some precautions when you mount those Christmas lights on your house, your trees, and your shrubs.
Bring a Buddy
Did you know that about 3,000 people are treated at emergency rooms each year after falling while trying to decorate their homes for the holidays? Make sure that you have a buddy with you to hold the ladder steady and help with hard-to-reach areas. If you're not sure that you can decorate a particular spot safely, skip it and go with a safer decor plan.
Be Careful with Young Trees and Shrubs
Do you have young trees or shrubs in your yard? You may be tempted to string them with lights because they are shorter and easier to reach; however, you must take care not to damage young shoots and new growth, or your tree may be permanently harmed. Also, remember that you'll have to take off any lights that you put on. The strings of lights may be fairly easy to entwine, but getting them loose may be a different story. Instead of wrapping the branches and twigs, consider laying the strings of lights across the branches instead. This strategy should make them easier to remove later, and you'll run less risk of snapping off those tender young twigs.
Play It Fire-Safe
Instead of other kinds of lights, use only the strings of lights with low-output LED bulbs. That's what the professionals use for holiday outdoor decorating, since these LEDs put out no heat and significantly lower the chance of fire.
Preserve the Bark
For trees with thinner bark, you'll need to be careful about wrapping the trunk. If the string of lights is too loose, the whirling winter winds could scuff the wires against the bark, rubbing the tree raw just when it most needs that protective layer of bark. Use some tape and twist ties to secure the strands of lights with minimal damage to the tree.
Take Lights Off Quickly
Avoid leaving your Christmas lights on the trees year-round. If strings of lights are left wrapped around a tree for too long, they can actually strangle it, preventing adequate nutrients from reaching the branches as it grows. Take the lights off within a few weeks after the holidays.
If you have questions or concerns about decorating your yard for Christmas or some other holiday, just call Kurtz Bros., Inc. We'll be happy to offer you expert advice and hands-on help for all your lawn care needs.