At Growing Earth Tree Care, we have your homestead’s needs in mind. With the season’s change comes holidays. And with holidays come traditions. One of our favorite traditions during the holiday seasons is to see the Christmas lights which adorn the homes of the communities we are a part of. These communities include Vienna, Springfield, Reston, McLean, Great Falls, Fairfax, Falls Church, Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, and more. We are proud to be Northern Virginia’s top professional tree care company, providing both residential and commercial tree care services. Our services include tree removal, pest control, soil and root care, and tree pruning, among others.
In the past, we’ve provided some (hopefully) helpful tips about how to plant trees and care for them once they are in the ground. In light of the holidays being just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to depart from our usual topics in favor of some tips about hanging Christmas lights in your yard and on your house. We genuinely care for our clients and community. If we can take a bit of time to help your house look the best it ever has this holiday season, then we will gladly provide you some tips! Keep reading if you are interested in optimizing your process this November and December.
Get A Vision Of What You Want
If you’ve ever hung Christmas lights on your trees or home before, you’ll know that things tend to go much better if you have a plan in mind. Perhaps your inspiration came from online or a neighbor’s house down the road. Regardless, you’ll need to modify it so it works well with what you’ve got to work with at your own abode. To receive this inspiration, set yourself up for success by taking a picture of your home from the street. Bare minimum, take a walk to the other side of the road to gain some perspective. Consider elements of your home like posts, doors, windows, trees, pillars, and eaves. You want to highlight the architectural features of your own home with these lights. If you are really going for it this year, you can also take into consideration bushes, window boxes, planters, footpaths, and the like.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a focal point of your decorations. Whether it’s a nativity scene, a monstrous pine in your front yard, or the beautiful columns you want to highlight, make sure you have it in mind before just flinging some lights up and hoping for the best.
Surface Is Key
Another thing worth consideration is the surface on which you will be laying your lights. If you are planning on hanging lights on your gutter, check their thickness in addition to the flexibility of your shingles. Obviously, the thicker the stronger, when it comes to gutters, and the more flexible the better in reference to shingles.
Mike Marlow, of Holiday Bright Lights (a national company), says the following in reference to striking balance. “Everyone gravitates toward the roofline and they forget to balance it with something below. It’s like interior design. You might have something on your room’s walls, but you need something on the shelves and the end tables too.” That’s sound advice, Mike. And, while we are talking about balance, don’t forget about your backyard! Sure, it doesn’t get as many eyeballs on it, but it can add some harmony to your yard and really bring the whole ensemble together. Just something to think about!
Time To Measure!
What, you thought the prep-work was done? We are just getting started! It’s like your dad used to (maybe) tell you; not preparing is preparing to fail. Next up is measuring. Here’s an easy tip that will go a long way; for every foot of lights, you’ll probably need 100 lights. For example, if you have a six-foot tree, you’ll need right around 600 lights for it took look sufficiently festive, in our humble opinion.
But before you start laying your lights out, plug all of them in to make sure that they are working. You could even leave them on while you are hanging them (assuming you do so carefully), so you can a better picture of what the end-product will look like while are working!
We’ve mentioned it before, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to be safe while installing your outdoor Christmas lights. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and that you have a good base before climbing up there. It’s vital that you don’t install lights on a tree that are in contact with a power line. Like, seriously, don’t do that, man. Secure all of your lights with insulated holders, as it’s a big no-no to use nails or tacks. And finally, don’t go to bed without turning your lights off. Luckily, timers exist so that you don’t have to remember. After all, you should be making rather merry instead of worrying about fire hazards this holiday season.
Choose The Correct Kind Of Outlet
Did we say the word “finally”? We lied, but being safe during every step is part of this process. When selecting the power outlet to use, it’s a good idea to use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This choice will behoove you in the future in case of overcurrent because this kind of power outlet just shuts the whole system down should that situation arise. If you aren’t sure if your home is equipped with a GFCI outlet, ask a neighbor or look on your smartphone’s search engine. It’s really an easy fix. Your electrician can install one or you can get an outdoor, portable outlet for right around $20!
Until Next Time…
So concludes part one of our two-part series on hanging Christmas tree lights in your yard and on your home. Although the majority of the process we addressed here had more to do with prep-work than the actual installation itself, we are of the opinion that preparation is the most important part of this holiday pastime. In part two, we’ll get into the meat and potatoes of the project.
In the meantime, if you are in need of experienced and knowledgeable “tree doctors” that have been in business for over 40 years, get in touch with Growing Earth Tree Care for your free estimate. No matter your need, we can help you with affordable, reliable tree maintenance!