Can You Leave Holiday Lights Up Year-Round on Your Denver Home’s Landscaping?

December 18, 2019

Nothing makes your yard look festive like hanging holiday lights. But what do you do when the holidays are over? If you’re like most people, the thought of taking down the lights and undecorating the yard is daunting at best. If you’ve ever turned a careful eye on your neighbors’ properties, you’ve probably seen holiday light displays that get left up year-round. So, should you do the same? Will it hurt your Denver landscaping efforts to spare yourself the frustration of taking the lights down? Here’s what you need to know.

You Can Leave Lights Up on Older Trees
Strictly speaking, it is possible to leave the holiday lights up year-round, but you have to fulfill two very specific conditions before you can. First, you need to use outdoor-rated lights. These are designed to withstand the temperature changes without damage and have protective housing over the wires that protect the strands from UV damage. Second, the lights should have LED bulbs, not incandescent ones. Incandescent bulbs short out when exposed to heat and direct sunlight for an extended period of time. If you leave those lights up, you’ll only find yourself disappointed come the following winter. Worse, you’ll have to remove those strands and hang new ones anyway!

If you chose to hang indoor-rated lights or have strands with incandescent bulbs, go ahead and take them down. You can coil them nicely and use them the following year or you can donate or recycle them and upgrade to higher quality lights during the next holiday season. 

Any lights placed on younger or less established trees should be taken down as well. Leaving the strands in place puts undue strain on the developing limbs and branches. Over time, this weight could hurt the tree’s ability to grow.

Take Lights Off All Shrubs
Trees may be the most common place to hang lights, but many homeowners also add them to shrubs for additional flair and color. If you have light nets or strands on your shrubs and bushes, make sure you remove them at the end of the season. This will help the bushes keep their shape and encourage proper growth and blossoming in the spring. 

Inspect for Damage Regularly
Regardless of the age of your trees, you’ll want to check them for damage if you’re leaving the lights up. Make sure the bark around the light strands is still whole and in good condition. If the tree looks like it’s losing bark around the lights or isn’t growing the way it has in previous years, remove the lights as soon as possible. 

Put Your Trees First
If you’re thinking about leaving the lights up year-round, make sure your trees can handle the lights without damage. Schedule an inspection with your trusted landscapers at Wild Irishman Tree & Landscape. We’ll make sure your trees and landscaping are up to the task. If they’re not, we’ll help you bring your landscaping back to life so you can enjoy the color and beauty it offers during the warmer months. 
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