PDA

View Full Version : Fixture in trees


irrigation lemieux
04-19-2009, 06:43 PM
What is the best way to install fixture in trees.also the tips for install wire on a tree.what about the transition from grass to tree,protect the wire from weed eater.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-19-2009, 07:47 PM
1: Get a Fall Arrest Harness and get properly trained on it's use.

2: Take a ladder safety course.

3: Get a Class II (minimum) 32' extension ladder, or two

3A: Climb ladder and position fixture as high as is humanly possible in the tree. "The higher the light, the closer to God."

4: Use application specific fixtures such as the Nightscaping JEMliter or the CAST Treelight.

4A: Ensure you locate the fixture in a relatively hidden location up the tree.

5: Use Stainless Steel Hanger Bolts to attach the fixture/treemount to the tree. These will not harm the tree and allow the fixture to be backed off as the tree grows and increases in diameter.

6: Use Stainless Steel Arrow T59 staples to attach the wire up the trunk of the tree. (You are lucky enough to live in an area where our trees grow relatively slowly:canadaflag:, allowing for the use of these staples... they work great and actually 'grow out' with the bark as the tree grows. I have heard that in the South, the trees grow to rapidly for this method and swallow the staples up, but I still don't belive it!)

7: Use a short length of royalflex or liquidtite conduit at the base of the tree where the wire transitions from the trunk to the ground. (I like to paint mine flat green to blend in)

8: DON'T FALL OFF THE LADDER OR OUT OF THE TREE! IT REALLY HURTS!

klkanders
04-19-2009, 07:52 PM
This should answer many of your questions:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=243683&highlight=Downlight+from+tree

All I did was use the search function in upper right portion of the Architectural and Landscape Lighting page.
Good Luck!

Keith

klkanders
04-19-2009, 07:56 PM
8: DON'T FALL OFF THE LADDER OR OUT OF THE TREE! IT REALLY HURTS!

Ahh so that is what happened to you! This explains alot! :laugh:
Just kidding.

Keith

David Gretzmier
04-20-2009, 02:57 PM
I fell off of a ladder against a tree 10 days ago. I can witness to this, even with no broken bone or internal injuries, a 12-15 foot drop still hurts 10 days later. I agree with all James said, and yes, southern trees eat staples. we have growth ring years easily in the 3/4 inch range.

S&MLL
04-21-2009, 12:38 PM
Wow your trees do grow fast. For wire going up the tree I use black zip ties with the loop at the end. Then I screw in with a s.s. Square head deck screw. EXPENSIVE but holds very good. On alot of oaks around my way the bark is so raised there are groves to follow. Obviously on a pine that is not an option.


Copper piping patinas pretty nice so use that for the first foot of tree if you have to.

Led is probably amazing for trees. Hell you dont have to re-lamp for at least 10 years.

Also Coppermoon makes a surface mount that works very nice on trees.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-21-2009, 07:13 PM
The best thing about the Arrow T59 SS staple is how discreet they are. The wire lays flat up against the tree and is barely noticeable. No hardware coming out of the tree either.

S&MLL
04-21-2009, 09:39 PM
How much bigger is it compared to t55

Outdoors_Unlimited
04-21-2009, 10:17 PM
Copper piping patinas pretty nice so use that for the first foot of tree if you have to.



I dont know what copper piping patinas are, but anything copper will kill the tree.

The fastest was to kill a tree is to drive a copper nail into the trunk.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-22-2009, 08:39 AM
The Arrow T59 is nothing like a T55. The T59 is a specially designed staple for the installation of cable, coax, etc. It has an integral insulator on it that sheaths the cable. They are available in stainless steel and require the use of the T59 Staple Gun.


As for using copper pipe as an abrasion conduit at the base of the tree... that would work. No harm would come to the tree as it is just a conduit to protect the cable from whipper snippers, edgers, etc. Just be sure not to attach anything copper into the tree!

S&MLL
04-22-2009, 02:41 PM
Nothing copper gets attached to the tree around here. Only S.S. fastners.


Will have to look into the t59, but I think I have seen them in the past.

Tomwilllight
04-23-2009, 12:46 PM
Copper piping patinas pretty nice so use that for the first foot of tree if you have to.

Led is probably amazing for trees. Hell you dont have to re-lamp for at least 10 years.

Also Coppermoon makes a surface mount that works very nice on trees.

You may discover that your local electrical inspector will not like your copper "sleeve" for LV wire. Copper tubing is very conductive and intended for plumbing.

As for using LEDs to avoid having to climb trees... if you don't service a tree-mounted light in 10 years, you may not be able to find the fixture let alone service it. Check the photos below.

My stand on mounting anything in trees is that you MUST leave room for the tree to grow and you MUST return regularly to loosen all the attachments you use. This is why I use "stainless steel hanger bolts" for mounting lights and stainless deck screws w/ T&B eyelet ties for securing LV wire. It's easy to set the lag screw side of the bolt in the tree using a "hanger bolt driver", spin on a nut, set your mount/J-box and spin on a second nut to hold. The point you stop the first nut will determine how far off the tree you are holding the fixture.

When you return to do your REGULAR maintenance, you spin out the top nut, slide out the mount and spin out the bottom nut to hold it all in place.

I found two surface mounts on the CopperMoon web site: the CM.TM-B (TM = Tree Mount?) and the CM.BrassM. Both feature round mounting holes and the metal appears to be 1/4 or 3/8" thick. They appear to be designed the be screwed tight to a surface. It is almost impossible to set 3 hanger bolts in a tree and slip a mount/J-box on without an elongated and oversized hole.

I noticed Cast corrected that particular fault with their tree mount recently.

Check out the Greenlee "T" box. Greenlee has been building fixtures for "moonlighting" for many years. They know what they are doing when it comes to mounting lights in trees.

Tom

Yes James, trees WILL grow around anything attached to them; even Canadian trees. It will just take those northern trees longer. As for the tree's bark "pushing out" your staple... I wouldn't rely on it.

S&MLL
04-23-2009, 04:21 PM
What is going on in your pictures?

Tomwilllight
04-23-2009, 04:47 PM
The tree has grown around the box and sleeve.

That is a landscape lighting installation in Austin, Texas. The box and sleeve were screwed to the trunk of the tree about 9 years before I saw and photographed the installation. The photos are about 2 or 3 years old. I don't remember if it was LV or Mercery Vapor.

Naomi and I were visitng friends and we were invited to lunch with a friend of our hosts. I saw this mess in the front yard, photographed it and spoke to the owner about it. The owner told me she had contacted the installer and was told that it was OK...

I don't think it's OK.

Tom

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-23-2009, 06:08 PM
Yes James, trees WILL grow around anything attached to them; even Canadian trees. It will just take those northern trees longer. As for the tree's bark "pushing out" your staple... I wouldn't rely on it.

Tom I have been using the Arrow T59 Staple for over 7 years now. It works like a charm here. The only trees that I have to 're-wire' are immature maple and white pine, which tend to grow very quickly. On all the mature species around these parts, well the staple sticks to the outer layer of bark and grows out with the tree. I have thousands of trees that have never been re-wired using the T59.

As for accessory tree mounts. The best I have ever found is the Hadco TM1H. It comes with three 7/16th SS hanger bolts and nuts too.

Regards.

irrig8r
04-23-2009, 06:19 PM
Trees eat lots of things... especially metal fences.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/140/323467742_1ecbafd919.jpg?v=0

http://www.arborsmith.com/images/bike-color.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/56/275591501_dac5a8bbfa.jpg?v=0

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/99/267070605_678f3a95c6.jpg?v=0

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/85/241541597_74ce090a50.jpg?v=0

http://photos.jpgmag.com/1463849_209131_2c7adab41d_p.jpg

Tomwilllight
04-23-2009, 07:44 PM
Great photos Gregg! If you don't mind, could I have copies? I'll add them to my talk on the proper way to attach lights & wire to living surfaces.

Tom

Tomwilllight
04-23-2009, 07:56 PM
James,

Thanks for the tip on the Hadco, I'll order a sample and add it to my collection.

Still think the Greenlee "T" box is easier with it's two 1/4" hanger bolts and elongated holes in a sheet of stainless. That means at least 1/3 less time putting in bolts and Arborists are expensive. In addition, the Greenlee is UL listed for line voltage and it never hurts to go beyond the minim when dealing with inspectors.

I also like having a J box in the tree. If I have maintenance to do on a mounted fixture, I can have the Arborist send the unit down to me without having to remove and replace all the ties holding the wire.

Tom

irrig8r
04-23-2009, 09:00 PM
Tom, I found hose photos on various websites. I collected the bicycle one quite a while back.
So, they are not really mine to "loan".

I wouldn't use photos of work not my own to promote lighting on my website, but since most of these are from Flickr, and were shared freely, I think you can use them.

Some who post their photos on Flickr reserve all rights, others do not. Usually if they don't want you to, you can't right click and save them.


Here is the story of the bicycle eating tree, updated:

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/comments/4226/P20/

Here are some others:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=tree+eating+metal

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-23-2009, 10:33 PM
Tom: Since the advent of the CAST Treelight and the Nightscaping JEMLiter, I have had little use for accessory tree mounts of any sort. Both of these fixtures come with 35 feet of factory installed 16/2 lead wire so no junctions are necessary up the tree. They both also come with integral tree mounts that use SS hanger bolts.

Lite4
04-24-2009, 09:56 AM
I dont know what copper piping patinas are, but anything copper will kill the tree.

The fastest was to kill a tree is to drive a copper nail into the trunk.

I think what he is referring to is using copper tubing as a sleeve for the wire because it patinas a nice dark color and blends into the trunk while protecting the wire. I have used this many times. The trick is to use stainless screws and zip tie the tubing "off" of the the tree. The tubing is attached to the zip tie, not to the tree. Works pretty good. I have been doing it for years and every year I go back to service the lamps, the trees are all extremely healthy.

Outdoors_Unlimited
04-24-2009, 07:29 PM
Yeah I wasn't sure what a patina was. I gather now what you guys are doing. I'm not into the lighting so I wasn't sure what you guys were refering to. But I am an arborist and know that copper kills trees, that's why I chimed in.

What you guys are doing sounds good, but I would still be leary of copper around the tree as if the system is neglected the tree could encase the copper pipe and then it will effect the tree.

irrigation lemieux
04-25-2009, 06:30 AM
where i can find those clamps arrows.and how they look like on a tree.

Pro-Scapes
04-25-2009, 07:26 AM
The only time I use copper around trees is around very agressive roots such as palms. I will sometimes install my wiring in a copper refridgeration tubing. Zero issues doing this almost 2 years post install. I visited a job yesterday for a service call with this and the palms looked great.

That being said I have moved to rerouting my wires when possible and putting it in conduit near these types of installations and will see what time tells me on both methods.

I am not wrapping the tree nor attaching any copper to the tree.

Im not crazy about the stapler and I have said it before. Zip ties or the ideal straps and a stainless screw (not tight) is how we do it.

Tom I have seen plenty of merc vapor ballasts here like the job you picture. I have even seen low voltage transformers hung from trees... worse yet in plain view of the house from the street.

Spilllight
05-01-2009, 02:59 PM
Has anyone ever had lightening hit a tree with a fixture on it and then the surge followed the wiring throught the entire system. I've seen transformers blown off walls and all bulbs destroyed.

It can act as a rod so shouldn't anything in trees be grounded at the base?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-01-2009, 03:35 PM
Yes. This happens now and then around here. Worst was last year when a strike directly hit a fixture in the tree. Lost a transformer, a relay module, 20+ lamps, a bunch of cable, etc.

Not much you can do about it really. Grounding the fixtures against lighting would be ridiculously expensive! The lightning guys around here use 1/0 braided copper cable to protect the really tall pines, it would outstrip the cost of the lighting by a large margin.

I have over 5000 lights in trees here, for a few that I have lost over the past decade it is not really a big concern, and besides the insurance pays and the couple of lights is nothing compared to what the clients lose inside the home.

Spilllight
05-01-2009, 04:41 PM
Your points are very true when it comes to how many times this may happen. My concern is the lighting is what feeds the surge into the home. I understand that electricity will take the path of least resistance and can come in through irrigation, plumbing, etc. I think height could be an attractant from time to time. Not that I wouldn't do downlighting I tend to try to find alternatives.

Lite4
05-01-2009, 09:11 PM
I think the bigger concern would be the inductive load going through the internal circuits of the home and expensive electronic devices due to a close strike. A whole home surge protection package will help that in the instance of distant strikes, but nothing much will help if it is fairly direct.

CANADIAN MIKE
02-16-2010, 07:48 PM
Yes. This happens now and then around here. Worst was last year when a strike directly hit a fixture in the tree. Lost a transformer, a relay module, 20+ lamps, a bunch of cable, etc.

Not much you can do about it really. Grounding the fixtures against lighting would be ridiculously expensive! The lightning guys around here use 1/0 braided copper cable to protect the really tall pines, it would outstrip the cost of the lighting by a large margin.

I have over 5000 lights in trees here, for a few that I have lost over the past decade it is not really a big concern, and besides the insurance pays and the couple of lights is nothing compared to what the clients lose inside the home.

just curious what your getting per light fixture? Say minimum 10 lights.:canadaflag:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-16-2010, 07:54 PM
just curious what your getting per light fixture? Say minimum 10 lights.:canadaflag:

Well for one thing I never quote by the fixture. As each job is entirely different I do a custom design and quote for each job. Site conditions, ground conditions, locations and placement difficulties will dictate the cost of installing any given fixture.

Vague I know, but I really won't be pinned down to a per fixture cost.

Regards

RLDesign
02-17-2010, 10:40 AM
1: Get a Fall Arrest Harness and get properly trained on it's use.

2: Take a ladder safety course.

3: Get a Class II (minimum) 32' extension ladder, or two

3A: Climb ladder and position fixture as high as is humanly possible in the tree. "The higher the light, the closer to God."

4: Use application specific fixtures such as the Nightscaping JEMliter or the CAST Treelight.

4A: Ensure you locate the fixture in a relatively hidden location up the tree.

5: Use Stainless Steel Hanger Bolts to attach the fixture/treemount to the tree. These will not harm the tree and allow the fixture to be backed off as the tree grows and increases in diameter.

6: Use Stainless Steel Arrow T59 staples to attach the wire up the trunk of the tree. (You are lucky enough to live in an area where our trees grow relatively slowly:canadaflag:, allowing for the use of these staples... they work great and actually 'grow out' with the bark as the tree grows. I have heard that in the South, the trees grow to rapidly for this method and swallow the staples up, but I still don't belive it!)

7: Use a short length of royalflex or liquidtite conduit at the base of the tree where the wire transitions from the trunk to the ground. (I like to paint mine flat green to blend in)

8: DON'T FALL OFF THE LADDER OR OUT OF THE TREE! IT REALLY HURTS!

JAMES, I can personally attest to 3 months and overgrown staples. I will photograph a project to prove it. We barely tapped the staples (stainless of course) and they still got sucked in within 6 months almost totally gone. By the time we found out the tree was frozen, and we are waiting until snow passes to remove. Some tree species are the worst. James has a good amount of tree experience. OOOHHHhhh Caaanaada!!!

I used the JEM until switching back to CAST. Coppermoon made a tree downlight. Although CAST was my favorite this year, it was only because the JEM was not available. JEM should be fixed soon. ARGGHHH!!!!

Talk soon. Tanek

Tomwilllight
02-17-2010, 12:51 PM
It's simple: Each installer has a responsibility to evaluate what works best for the trees in their own region.

What may work on Canada's White Pines, may not work at all on any of Florida's many species of Palm. California's Costal Redwoods may well tolerate techniques that North Carolina's River Birch will "swallow" in a single season.

Our clients often have a powerful emotional investment in their trees beyond their investments of time and money. It is important that we make ourselves knowledgeable and sensitive to those investments and PROTECT them.

Our first job - much like Doctors - is to DO NO HARM to our clients' investments.

Tom

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-17-2010, 03:19 PM
It's simple: Each installer has a responsibility to evaluate what works best for the trees in their own region.

What may work on Canada's White Pines, may not work at all on any of Florida's many species of Palm. California's Costal Redwoods may well tolerate techniques that North Carolina's River Birch will "swallow" in a single season.

Our clients often have a powerful emotional investment in their trees beyond their investments of time and money. It is important that we make ourselves knowledgeable and sensitive to those investments and PROTECT them.

Our first job - much like Doctors - is to DO NO HARM to our clients' investments.

Tom

Well stated Tom. I agree 100%