Why attach wire or fixture directly to trees?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by all ferris, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I never do this and never plan to start doing this. I can understand that people are trying to achieve a certain look to their lighting install but do they understand what they are doing to the tree? Maybe people just don't care but I have seen first hand what a tree looks like (inside) after a screw or nail has been driven into it. I used to do some logging in the winter time and you guys should see what the wood looks like after a nail or barb wire has been attached to a tree for years. The nail or wire will actually stain the wood from the base of the tree all the way up to where the injury is. If the tree is not healthy to begin with a nail can be the "nail in the coffin" for the tree. It also sucks real bad to have a chainsaw come in contact with a nail or wire.
  2. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Messages: 1,267

    From what I've learned from horticultural experts, a screw in a tree causes a localized wound that the tree isolates by forming a hard protective layer around the screw. None have suggested that this harms a healthy tree.

    Of course, if the tree is not healthy, then it's not wise to mount anything to it.

    The discoloring you mention is probably oxidized iron (rust) working it's way down the tree. We always recommend stainless steel screws that probably don't rust in the tree.
  3. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    But why take the chance? Is the lighting effect more important than the health of the tree?

    You go into an arborists yard and try screwing a light to his tree and he will shoot you even is you use SS hardware.

    The tree will also grow around the wire and the fixture. So you just say "who cares if the tree might be damaged, the lights look good from the street"?

  4. RLDesign

    RLDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    The best route is to approach any situation trying to find the right lighting effect. If that option is downlighting, shadowing, or moonlighting, we choose the most descrete placing for optimal achievement of the composition. We sometimes use a clamp or strap method, but usually when we have to screw, there are stainless hanger bolts and stainless screws. Also, we make sure service and adjust the fixtures as the tree grows. As professionals, we pay arborists to climb, educate, and assess the trees. Appropriate placing is important. Some of us have worked with an arborist enough to be able to do it ourselves.



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