Best Way to Hang Christmas Lights on Trees

a person standing in front of lit Christmas tree

Hanging Christmas lights on a variety of trees around your property is a great way to get into the spirit of the season, and with some helpful advice from the professionals at The Grounds Guys®, you can learn the best time and the best methods for installation and storage.

Timing is Everything

Time your installation in advance to avoid the cold and the added danger that can arise once the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Late fall is ideal for hanging Christmas lights after your deciduous trees have lost their leaves, and before outdoor temperatures drop.

What Are the Best Types of Lights?

Ensure your lights are certified for outdoor use to avoid damage, electrical issues, and personal injury. LED lights are the preferred choice as they are more energy-efficient than incandescent, have a longer lifespan, and come in a wide array of colour options. Look for light strands with bulbs spaced at least six to eight inches apart to provide a greater volume of light across a wider area.

How to Hang Christmas Lights

You will need:

  • A ladder
  • Outdoor-rated lights
  • Outdoor-rated extension cords enabled with GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection to prevent electrical shock
  • Twine and/or gardeners tape

Plan Ahead

Determine how many lights you will need and the type of look you want to achieve. If you would like to leave your lights up year-round white is a great option, while multicoloured strands or solid colours have a more seasonal feel. If using colored bulbs, choose a color scheme that works with your home's exterior and stick to a unified palette.

Choose Your Trees

Base your plan around the number of lights you are willing to buy and choose the best trees in your yard to accomplish your goal. Begin with a focal point, which may be the largest tree or one that has an interesting shape. Work your way out from there and choose a number of additional trees or shrubs to complete the look—keeping in mind the proximity to your power source.

Test the Lights

Check each strand of lights before you head outdoors to avoid wasting time installing lights that are damaged or burned out.

Find an Assistant

Put your safety first, and find an assistant to steady the ladder while you climb to reach higher branches and give you perspective from ground level.

Start at the Bottom

The best way to hang Christmas lights is from the bottom up, starting with securing your extension cord at the base of the tree. Avoid overloading the outlet by limiting the number of strands on one tree to three. Start wrapping the trunk and work your way up, using even spacing between each loop for a more polished look.

Secure the Lights

Secure the end of the light string by tucking it in or using twine or gardener's tape, avoiding the use of wire which may cause damage or injury.

Storage Tips

Save time and frustration next season with these  storage tips:

  • Wrap lights around a plastic coat hanger, working from end to end and tying the tail end around the hook of the hanger.
  • Use a piece of sturdy cardboard and place a notch on one side. Begin wrapping the lights there and continue along the length of the cardboard, tucking in the end when complete.

For all your landscaping needs including residential holiday lighting service, call The Grounds Guys at (888) 972-8063 or contact us online today!