PDA

View Full Version : faster tree mounting ideas


Mike M
05-29-2008, 10:18 PM
I've been using zip ties with the holes in them for attaching cable to trees, and was wondering if anyone does anything to save time, such as this idea I just had:

Lay out the cable, and pre-attach and cut several ties. Mount the fixture, and just go down the cable with the drill and stainless steel screws.

The job gets tedious when you have several downlights. I was practicing using the cutters in my left hand and drill with my right and screws in my teeth and juggling the ties, but I eventually dropped my drill (ack!). I like to work quickly, but I don't mind slowing a little to fit in the perfect grooves and shape of the trunk.

I'll also be getting the modular belt which James was recommending.

Chris J
05-29-2008, 10:22 PM
A belt would probably help, but I normally attach the fixture to the tree first then work my way down the tree with the same method you are mentioning. I've been using the zip ties with the hole for probably 7 years now, and I don't know of another (better) way to do it. As you know, it is very important to use stainless steel screws so you don't damage/poison the tree.

Lite4
05-29-2008, 11:10 PM
I use the zips, but I attatch them to the copper flex pipe I sleeve my wire through. I only need at the most 4-5 zips to accomplish what I need on small to medium sized trees.

Chris J
05-29-2008, 11:12 PM
Hey Tim,
What's the purpose of the copper tubing? I can understand protection at the base of the tree due to weed eaters, but what else?

Lite4
05-29-2008, 11:15 PM
Mainly cosmetic. The copper will turn a nice brown color and will fade into the bark. I mainly do this on smaller to medium sized trees where the bark has not had sufficient time to begin to crack and fissure. It also makes it harder for kids to screw with your wire if it is protected in a metal sleeve until it is out of their reach.

Chris J
05-29-2008, 11:21 PM
Cool idea.

Lite4
05-30-2008, 12:00 AM
I will post some pics.

Venturewest
05-30-2008, 12:33 AM
Something to hold the screw in all your zip tie holes would be nice also. I thought about using some kind of a retainer ring like a small o-ring or something. Have a bunch already made up.

That copper sounds really nice also. Although in Oklahoma you might have to watch out for copper thieves. They are pulling copper out of new construction around here. I've been using zip ties with the holes in them for attaching cable to trees, and was wondering if anyone does anything to save time, such as this idea I just had:

Lay out the cable, and pre-attach and cut several ties. Mount the fixture, and just go down the cable with the drill and stainless steel screws.

The job gets tedious when you have several downlights. I was practicing using the cutters in my left hand and drill with my right and screws in my teeth and juggling the ties, but I eventually dropped my drill (ack!). I like to work quickly, but I don't mind slowing a little to fit in the perfect grooves and shape of the trunk.

I'll also be getting the modular belt which James was recommending.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-30-2008, 12:50 AM
On large calibre, mature, and slow growing species I use the Arrow T59 staple gun and the Stainless Steel T59 staples for wiring the trees. Fast, efficient, strong and effective, a real time saver.

Not so good on small calibre, young or fast growing species, unless you are prepared to re-staple on an annual basis (when you relamp) which is not really a big deal when you think of it. At about $0.04 per staple they are very cost effective too.

Mike M
05-30-2008, 06:51 AM
On large calibre, mature, and slow growing species I use the Arrow T59 staple gun and the Stainless Steel T59 staples for wiring the trees. Fast, efficient, strong and effective, a real time saver.


James, that has to be fast. I didn't know they made stainless steel staples!

I'm hiring an arborist to follow you around for a day.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-30-2008, 10:38 AM
Speed installing tree mounted downlights comes with experience. When I started out, it wasnt unusual for it to take me 45-50 minutes to install a fixture. Over time I figured out a few things, changed my suppliers several times, streamlined my equipment and generally 'got good at it'. Several thousand fixtures installed later and it takes me about 10 minutes to do right.

It is sort of fun watching my installer now, one year under his belt.... I can see his efficiency and confidence rising all the time, and his speed along with it.

The Lighting Geek
05-31-2008, 06:04 PM
I have found over the years that a 3/8" black nylon cable clamp with a 8D stainless steel nail is the bomb. Sometimes it is hard to reach with a staple gun and be able to squeeze off the staple. We leave the nail out about a 1/2" so the tree will grow and also leave a small coil of wire at the bottom of the trunk unstapled so it is pulled up as the tree grows. The clamp breaks if it is hit, caught, or the tree grows up to it. I don't have to worry about wires growing into the trees anymore. That along with a Unique stratosphere mount and it is the most tree friendly system I have found and it is very fast.

Mike M
05-31-2008, 08:04 PM
Tommy,

I've used those nylon parts, but what's this about a nail? Doesn't that leave the wire less concealed if it's not against the tree? How are you attaching the nail--old fashioned swinging, or do you have a gun?

Sorry for the questions. Today I was wondering if I should be strapping the top of the ladder, so that I can increase my vertical angle and reach the tree easier as I go down the ladder, instead of repositioning it. Does anyone do this?

Thanks,

Mike

The Lighting Geek
05-31-2008, 09:25 PM
Tommy,

I've used those nylon parts, but what's this about a nail? Doesn't that leave the wire less concealed if it's not against the tree? How are you attaching the nail--old fashioned swinging, or do you have a gun?

Thanks,

Mike

Mike,

You can't keep the wire that tight against tree and expect it to move with the tree. Some customers have questioned it and when I explain why I am doing it this way, they are very happy to hear I am thinking about the health of their trees. Most of the time it doesn't show anymore than staples. I use a hammer and with some practice it is really fast. I am not sure about the very cold areas and how the vinyl fastener would hold up. We get in the teens in the winter with no problem, but we don't have the ice and snow build up some have.

I have used the strap idea if I am not secure enough with ladder placement. Safety is everything. You should be using a harness while in the tree because as James will tell you, it is the sudden stop that hurts the most. :dizzy:

Mike M
06-01-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm going to do some nail gun research. I wonder if they make stainless steel nails for those things.

Mike M
06-01-2008, 01:32 PM
I refer to the Remington powder-actuated nail guns. Small, fast.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-01-2008, 06:37 PM
Sorry for the questions. Today I was wondering if I should be strapping the top of the ladder, so that I can increase my vertical angle and reach the tree easier as I go down the ladder, instead of repositioning it. Does anyone do this?

Thanks,

Mike

Mike, you want to keep the ladder at a safe angle at all times no matter what height you have it extended to up the tree. When installing at 30+ feet you will have to come down and re-position the ladder at least once or twice to attach the wire all the way down. Taking short cuts on this will only lead to an accident.

irrig8r
06-01-2008, 07:53 PM
I refer to the Remington powder-actuated nail guns. Small, fast.

Sounds a little nutty to me Mike... watch out for the ricochet.

And check this out:

No nail gun?

Try a sawed-off rifle. Sounds like you don't even have to be in the tree.... just aim carefully from the ground...

:laugh:


CHARLOTTETOWN - A Prince Edward Island man who substituted a rifle for a nail gun during a home improvement project will not be allowed to own firearms for five years.

Michael Robert Porter decided a sawed-off .22-calibre rifle could help him with a bit of home improvement. On July 5, he took his gun and some nails outside his Rochford Street home and started securing a screen over a window.

Someone who was passing by saw Porter shooting at his house and called police.

Officers seized five firearms, which they said were stored unsafely.

Two were antiques and will be turned over to the Army Museum in Charlottetown.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/07/14/nail_gun040714.html

Chris J
06-01-2008, 07:58 PM
I can see the head-lines now: "Lighting installer killed by self-inflicted gun shot wound and fall from 30' ladder!":gunsfirin

Mike M
06-01-2008, 08:47 PM
Okay.

First, Gregg, never in America!!! That could only happen in wimpy gunless communist Canada. No offense, James.

Next, Remmington makes a powder actuated nail gun, that even if I never use professionally, would be lots of fun to play with.

Finally, as for 30' plus falls, that will never happen to me. My ladder only goes 24'.

Additionally, I have to admit I raised an eyebrow at the idea of shooting off nail rounds from the ground. Sounds like a joke: "Where were you today, Mike?" "Squirrel hunting with my new Remmington. Got seven." "Where are they?" "Stuck to the tree."

Chris J
06-01-2008, 08:56 PM
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

OK, gotta go now. Uriah Faber and Jens Pulver are getting ready to go at it in the cage!

JoeyD
06-02-2008, 09:52 AM
That was a great fight huh Chris?! I had Uriah all the way but Jens is a hell of a fighter! I cant wait for the re match.

The WEC fights were a million times better than the EliteSC fights on CBS. That was the worst production of MMA I have ever seen.

NightLightingFX
06-02-2008, 10:50 AM
I thought the best thing for the health of a tree is to use stainless steel screws. That way as the tree begins to over grow the screw you just back it out. I was surprised to hear that some people use stapple guns. I am sure you guys know more than me so let me know. It sounds like you guys don't think stapples and nails aren't of any risk to a tree? Also, I was wondering about the risk of using a copper tube to run the wire though. Is there any health issues to the tree if the copper tube comes in contact with the tree?
~Ned

Pro-Scapes
06-02-2008, 07:25 PM
some food for thought.

Hitting the nails in some trees can cause a shock to the lamp...Possible decreased lamp life but im sure the geek would of found this out.

What we do.

Prep and lamp fixture on ground. This includes adding any lenses... silicone as needed and taking about 2-3 ft of wire and creating a loop with a 1 hole zip tie. This is placed on the lease consipicous side of the tree.Leave the zip tie loose enough wire can pull out as needed either up or down. Hang our strat bracket (cordless drill with long socket) and then hang the fixture.Ensure the wire enters the fixture from the bottom so there is a proper drip loop.

On the way down we use either zip ties or the plastic cable straps someone mentioned and stainless screws. It really doesnt take that much longer to run a few screws in than it does to use a nail or a staple and im not pounding on the tree. We usually average about 3-5 points of connections in pine trees which is our main mounting species for tree lights.

We also coil a bit of wire and bury it at the base to allow service and growth.

to us its not about speed when it comes to tree mounted lights. I dont want to have to go back.

Chris J
06-02-2008, 07:54 PM
That was a great fight huh Chris?! I had Uriah all the way but Jens is a hell of a fighter! I cant wait for the re match.

The WEC fights were a million times better than the EliteSC fights on CBS. That was the worst production of MMA I have ever seen.

Yes, I was impressed. I also knew Uriah would take him, but I found myself pulling for Lil' Evil after the 1st round. They are both awsome.

About the tree mounts, I do about the same as Billy. Zip ties with holes and stainless screws. I used to staple in my beginning, but won't do that anymore.