It’s important to perform regular checks on the health of your trees, even when it comes to double checking that you’ve removed all the Christmas lights from the previous year!
It can be tempting to leave some lights up on trees after the holidays from one year to the next, particularly on the highest branches, but after many years of doing this your trees can actually absorb and grow over twist ties, looped cords and bulbs. While some trees can grow to absorb these small decorations and continue to thrive, in many situations this abnormal growth will inhibit the growth of your trees, or kill the tree outright.
I was performing a health check on the Norway Spruce pictured above and discovered past years decorations embedded into several of the trees branches. The tree branches in this situation have grown over looped light cords, and even covered over some of the bulbs. After cutting and pulling out all Christmas tree lights loose in the tree, it was easier to see which branches had embedded lights and ties in them, and to discover why many branches had decreased needle production in recent years.
What To Do With Cords Embedded In Tree Branches:
Objects that trees grow over inhibit and disturb the travel of nutrients inside the tree, even if a tree is producing apparently healthy bark growth on the outside of a branch there can be serious damage occurring inside the tree. Ties around the branches can eventually strangle the tree branch and damage the tree permanently, so the safest option for the tree is to prune off the area effected to save the branch from any potential long term damage. I recommend pruning sap producing trees in the fall months, when production is down. In the case of debris grown into the trunk of a tree I recommend consulting a certified Arborist to help you decide what the best method will be to maintain the health of your tree.
Make sure you take time this summer to check your own trees for decorations and ties, and remove anything on your tree that has been in place for one year. Keeping your trees healthy will help your home retain value, and provide you with shade and beauty in the years in between.