Wrapping Trees with Christmas Lights
What You'll Find in This Guide
From outdoor trees and bushes to indoor Christmas trees too, we're covering all of the most common tree light wrapping topics in this guide below! Browse through each topic or click on a link from the list below to go straight to the section you're looking for.
How Many Lights for Wrapping Trees?
When deciding how many lights you'll need to wrap a tree, start by measuring the circumference of the tree trunk and any branches you plan to wrap with lights. Determine how much spacing you want both between each light bulb on the string, as well as how far apart you plan to wrap the light strings. String lights with 6" bulb spacing are popular for wrapping trunks and branches.
To calculate the total string length you'll need: divide the tree height by the spacing you want between wraps and multiply the total by circumference.
Example: we have a 4'H trunk that measures 2' in circumference, and we plan to wrap four of the stronger branches, which measure 3'L and 6" in circumference. Use this equation to learn how to wrap a tree with lights:
View our Light Calculation Charts for how many lights are needed on trees.
Quick Tree Wrapping Tips
Most outdoor trees are wrapped the length of the trunk and approximately 3-4' high in the extending branches. Not every branch needs to be wrapped, and branches should be selected to allow for an even, pleasing distribution of light. You can create a beautiful scene with just a few string lights wrapped with 6-8" spacing around each tree, however if you want an intense, full coverage look, keep each wrap closer together as you move up the tree. Depending on how high you plan to wrap the tree, it may be helpful to have a ladder or bucket lift, and a second person to help out.
Quick Steps For Wrapping Trees with Lights
Plug all of the light strings in to make sure they are working and then wind each string into a ball shape. This step is important. It takes just a few seconds but it will save you tons of time by not having to deal with loose or tangled strings during your install.
Now begin passing the ball of lights around the trunk of the tree. Keep the lights pulled tight as you go to create tension and prevent the string from slipping down the tree trunk.
When you reach the end of the first string, plug the next string in and continue wrapping up the trunk and into the branches as high as you'd like to go.
Secure the end of your final string by tucking it under a nearby light wrap or use a zip tie to fasten it to the branch.
How to Wrap a Tree with Lights
Step 1. Create a ball of lights to make wrapping easier, connect the male plug to a power source at the base of the tree. You can also buy pre-balled light sets to save on time!
Step 3. When you reach the end of the first string, plug the next string in and continue wrapping up the trunk and into the branches as high as you'd like to go.
Finished Results: Beautiful Light Wrapped Trees!
Trunk Wrap Lights for Wrapping Trees
Wrapping trees with string lights using the step by step methods above allows you complete control over the finished look of your light wrapped trees. You can completely customize light colors, the spacing between each wrap, and the style of light strings you use. With string lights you can also wrap much higher up into a tree and its smaller branches to create a striking effect, whereas trunk wraps typically won't work for very small branches. For ultimate control over your design, wrapping trees with string lights is the way to go. However, this method can be costly, and depending on how many trees you wrap, the time commitment could be significant. If you're trying to stay within a tight budget, you want completely uniform lighting, or you're short on time, trunk wrap lights might be a better solution for your project.
StretchNet Pro™ tree wraps are designed with a stretchable cord that is woven into the net, making them expandable for wrapping small and large trees. Simple loop clasps attach the ends of the net around the tree, making installation incredibly simple.
Some people love the uniform, grid pattern produced by trunk lights, while others prefer the more subtle variations produced by hand wrapping trees with string lights. The photos below show trees that have been wrapping using trunk wrap lights and others wrapped with strings lights. The visual differences are evident and worth consideration when choosing how to light up your trees.
Tree Wrapped with String Lights
Tree Wrapped with Trunk Lights
Wrapping Lights on Evergreens
Evergreens retain most of their leaves during winter and include Spruce, Pine, and Firs, as well as other varieties. Using our Recommended Number of Lights can help in determining how many light strings are needed, as well as which size bulb. Lights should be checked before installation, especially when lighting larger trees that will be almost impossible to fix once all the light strings are on. 3-Way splitters and power taps may be needed to extend outlets up the length of taller trees.
Tips For Wrapping Evergreens:
Lights for Bushes and Hedges
For the fastest, cleanest method, choose Christmas net lights for bushes and hedges. If you prefer to wrap your bushes and hedges with outdoor tree lights:
How to Put Lights on a Christmas Tree
When wrapping Christmas trees for indoor use, one of the main goals should be to keep wires as concealed as possible. Wrapping tree branches instead of simply draping lights results in a beautiful, even distribution of lighting.
Hanging Decorations for Trees
Have fun with tree lighting schemes by using a different light colors and color combinations to create themed outdoor light displays. Some mini light strings even have multiple bulb colors on one string to easy accomplish the perfect look for a variety of holidays! Popular color combinatons include orange and purple or purple and green lights for Halloween; red, white and blue lights for patriotic displays; and red and green, blue and white or red and white lights for Christmas. In addition to playing with tree light colors, have some fun with hanging a variety of decorations from tree branches too!
Hanging Decoration Ideas