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Holiday LIghting - How would you do this tree?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by A Perfect Shine, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. A Perfect Shine

    A Perfect Shine LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    We have a customer interested in having us wrap this tree in mini-lights, its about 35 feet tall. If anyone has experience with this sort of thing, I have a few questions:

    1) How much would you charge to wrap this tree in minis?

    2) How would you do it. Would you use a boom lift, or ladders and poles?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. A Perfect Shine

    A Perfect Shine LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    This is the tree:

  3. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    There is no way you will be able to light that tree with your feet on the ground.

    If it's really 35' tall, you will need a lift of some sort, a boom or arm-type lift would be best, short of that, I suppose you could do it with a scissor lift.

    Ideally, you should wrap each individual branch. This allows the limbs to move in the wind, and doesn't cause breakage. However, doing so can be very time-consuming, and you will need the lift to remove the lights.

    How you put the lights on will be entirely up to you. We decorate a very tall bald cypress each year, and it is getting close to max-ing out the boom lift we use. We generally wrap the lights around the tree, which makes it possible to remove them from the ground using extension poles. We've found out that you can string 6 sets of 150 lights together before you start popping the mini-fuses. That's not the recommended way, mind you, but that's why there are those little PITA fuses in the plugs.:) Not to mention GFCI outlets too!

    The other way to decorate the tree is to use the net lights. I've only been involved with those once, and it takes some additional time and energy to get them to look right. I can't remember how it was done; that was 3 years ago.:)

    As for what to charge, I dunno. That's not my end, I just put the darn things up!


  4. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Ditto, D Felix. I don't contract Holiday lighting, but all the guys around here use a boom truck. Make sure you include taking them down in the price, they will almost certainly assume that's included.

  5. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Cost Would Be 350 An Use A Bucket Truck !!
  6. Outdoor Services

    Outdoor Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Use a tree trimming pole, and if needed 10-12' A-frame ladder too. Have done this for local Electrical Contractor few years ago. Much easier to use the small lights as they weight less, plus white ones are brighter so the strings can be farther apart. :cool2:
    Oh, don't do the net lights they look like crap from the street. Make people look lazy too!!! I have had people want me to install them, and I turned them away, as I now they will look s___y now matter who puts them up.
  7. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Posts: 186

    get a forklift, with a pallet and some side so you dont fall out, if all else fails, pay a small 16yr/old to climb the thing.
  8. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    I used to do holiday lighting at my last place of employment. We had an extendable aluminum pole with a hook on the end to do trees up to 30'-35'. I wouldn't know what to charge, but a tree that size would have taken about an hour to an hour and a half.
  9. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    It would seem that renting a boom truck may add up to be more than what your client would want to spend, plus you'd have to figure your time picking up and returning the equipment.

    For this job, one tree only, I'd tend to go with a system that Mike just mentioned with the extendable pole and hook. Not as glamorous, but less expensive and quicker in the long run.
  10. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,152

    use a chainsaw after dark... and run.

    Actually, I've been decorating residentials for almost 9 years up in Jersey. All we ever did was trees and shrubs. Personally, I wouldn't "wrap" that type of tree if it means actually wrapping each individual branch. It's not the right type... would defeat the purpose. Not to mention, 'take down' would take forever. It doesn't look quite 35'... the bulk of it looks like 20'-25'. Anyway.... to avoid any expenses of rentals or borrowing of equipment.... I've always used a painters pole from Home Depot... extends to 28'...$32.99. Added a lil' hook from a coat hanger and waalaaah! Place the string of lights anywhere you want. How much $$$??? You don't wanna know my price... but the tree would be on fire with lights... ball park figure - $150-$225

    G'luck to ya...

    I'm flyin' back to Jersey in a few just to put x-mas lights up for the season... I'll try and get some good pictures.

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