Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lighting up your trees for the holidays? Stay safe and keep your trees healthy

It’s that time of year when you may start to decorate your home for the holidays. Lighting can look beautiful, but it is important to ensure your safety and the health of the tree comes first.
For your safety, we recommend you always:  

  • Ensure you use outdoor lights outdoors, and indoor lights indoors.
  • Ensure your outdoor lights have a sticker to show they meet CSA standards or are CSA approved. 
  • Never string more than the recommended number of lights together.
  • Know your limits when decorating. Make sure you have the right tools, such as appropriate ladder, for harder to reach areas. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it. 

Here are some tips to help ensure your trees are safe and healthy too:

  • Hang the lights throughout the tree instead of wrapping each individual branch and/or trunk.
  • Remove lights promptly once the season is over. 
  • Electrical cords and items used to secure lights to the trunks and branches of trees can “girdle” them over time as they grow. Girdling occurs when wire or rope is wrapped tightly around the tree limiting the flow of water and nutrients.
  • If you are using a ladder, be careful not to damage the tree. If possible, stand your ladder up beside the tree rather than using the tree for support. Leaning it directly against the tree can damage the tree and make it more susceptible to pests and disease.  
  • When removing the lights, be gentle. Tugging the lights off may remove new tree buds or damage the tree's exterior, especially on younger trees that can be soft. 

Whose tree is it?

These are some tips for decorating trees on your own property. For trees on City property, there is a Tree Protection Bylaw, and the maintenance of these trees is the responsibility of The City.

Wondering if a tree on your property is a City tree? Visit the tree map.

For more information on what to do, how to get around and how to be safe during the winter season visit

Submitted by Allison Fifield, Parks

1 comment:

  1. Remember to use only LEDs as they don't give of heat. Other types of bulbs can give of heat and damage tree branches or buds.