Wreath Destruction

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by PlantscapeSolutions, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,091

    I was pessimistic when one of the suppliers I use sent me this wire specifically for my 72" wreath and even though I was leery of using it I gave it a try. I hung the wire over two support points so the weight of the wreath would not be supported by one stress point on the wire. To me wire that has more stands tends to be more pliable and durable while less strands tends to be less so.

    I did an experiment with much smaller gauge (100 lbs) picture wire and it tolerated 300% more abuse then the much larger wire.

    I had both support points safety wired to the building to prevent it from being able to jump off the supports. Instead the support wire broke and down went the wreath over 30'. There was a lot of wind at the time that may have caused some movement of the wire over the supports. But I do not believe if the wire had been like heavy duty picture wire and less like baling wire I would have had this failure.

    You can see the large arch over the entry to the church and that is where the wreath plummeted from. It was mounted about 2' from the very peak. You would think they would have a stairwell with roof access and an outlet up there some place but that's not the case. A 40' ladder is the only way up. It takes one guy on the ladder, one guy holding the ladder, and two on the roof to safely raise up the wreath to get the job done.

    The new wreath is going to be hung from 360 lb chain and will be bolted to the building with a 5/8" X 4.5" insert. The only thing I still don't like is that the limestone fascia rock is only 4" thick. Luckily, there is a huge coping cap on the top that helps keep the wall loaded with downward pressure.

    This was a learning experience and from now on I will use chain on any wreath larger then 48". My supplier is going to get me another wreath at 1/2 off and is working with me as I speak to try to get me one shipped from north of Dallas to my Austin area. I just happened to ponder Greyhound as an option and sure enough they do have a package express service. It may be less then $50 to get me my package here by late tonight.

    I want to keep this church client happy since they spent $2700 this year and are likely to up that amount a bunch for next year. I had given them the cheapest bid for a bunch of work and then they asked me to do totally different work with no bid required. Got to love that!

    I'll let the cat out of the bag a little on the supplier since they are bending over backwards to get me a new wreath. Jason just emailed me and he personally is running to Greyhound in Sherman to drop off my wreath for shipping. If it's under a $100 he's going to cover it. I'm sure all you guys in this trade all know who Jason works for.



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  2. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    why anyone in their right mind would use that kind of wire to hold up that heavy of a wreath is beyond me........
  3. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Why not just use braided cable??

    I have one that is 82' up where the top cable mounts. I double that one, then I drop to the 10 and 2 o'clock position, single strand each way, Then drop to 5 and 7 o'clock and repeat. There is on average 25000 people that travel through this area each day. It is done for an annual Victorian Stroll Celebration which an estimate of attendance is in excess of 140k each year.

    This building is actually registered on the National Historic List, and I am fortunate enough to have mounting points already in the building. The wreath weighs probably 150 lbs all together, there is enough cable on there for 15 tons. I have multiple mounting points so in case it lets go for some reason, it goes no where. That won't come down unless the quick cables are removed no quick links here all clamped, or God himself says it comes down. Way to much liability potential there. Most of the offices are leased to attorneys in that area.

    As far as Jason goes, absolutely no surprise there. I had an incident last year where UPS dropped my across town and wrote it was on my porch, Jason had taken the steps to get it to me over night, and another one where they dropped it in a driveway 3/4's of a block away, again on my porch. First order would have fit, second order was 15 cases of bows, not gonna happen. I get the majority of my supplied from them. LED's are cost effective, amazing warranty and awesome quality. I have a set in my shop I plugged in Feb 26, 2012. Lit 24/7 since then. No issues. Area is loaded with dust and moisture. They (the lights) are everything that he said and more. I am hoping to speak with him with regard to LTL rather than door delivery. It takes 5 days for me to see product.

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  4. Birchwood

    Birchwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    We use a plastic coated braided cable with lead crimps when we have to hand a wreath across or over a window. If we hang on the building we put 2 open ended 4" hooks into the mortar or wood at 10 and 2 and hang the wreath directly on it without any cable. on 6 foot wreaths. 5 and under are 1 hook.

    We did 7 foots that we used a carbeiner into a large eye hook.

    We have a few that are up that 40 feet any it's always a little hairy watching my guy balance it on his head as he goes up the ladder.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    ok, few thoughts here. we use a ton, and I mean 4-8 35 pound spools of single strand, 16 gauge galvanized wire on all our wreaths, from 3 foot to 8 foot, and have never had wire failure problems. we hang all wreaths from 4 foot up with 2 separate wires and hang them like a necklace at 11 and 1 o'clock. on 7 and 8 foot wreaths we add a 3rd anchor and wire at 12 oclock. we have had wreaths fall, but usually due to frame welds breaking, concrete anchor pull out, etc.

    we have used some 12 gauge single strand aluminum in the past and have had occaisional failure with that.

    I have some 10 foot wreaths that came mounted with 1/4" stranded galvanized aircraft cable, and we continue to use that.

    this is how we install 6, 7, 8 foot wreaths with a 32 or 40 ft ladder. put top of ladder a foot above where you want wreath. use rope through top wrung orient plug on wreath, and pull wreath up from ground to just slightly above where you want it. tie off rope to bottom rung, install anchors, wire wreath and untie rope. no need to have guys pull wreath up from roof. the weight of the wreath pulls the top of the ladder to the wall, and pull on rope locks legs to ground.
  6. OP

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,091

    I like that idea. I have full bag of arborist goodies that will make using your method super easy. I also like your idea because if you had a failure and the wreath fell it would not pull the installer off the ladder.

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