[Wince. I realize the title of this blog is a stretch...]
|Holiday lights in Old Town Fort Collins|
(from CSU Source; photo by Bet Llavador)
So while I encourage you to celebrate the season with lights, just remember to take them down on a nice day shortly after the New Year. I know they are a ton of work to put up, but leaving your lights on plants (especially trees) can cause damage.
Remember that trees grow concentrically and add a new layer each season on the outside. I like the metaphor that Ralph Zentz, City of Fort Collins forester, uses: On your first birthday, you receive an ice cream cone (but of course eat all the ice cream and leave the cone). On your second you get another and put it on top of the first. And so on. By the time you're 10, you have 10 ice cream cones and you can look at the "layers" of each one if you flip it over. That's how a tree grows--in layers.
|The "layers" in a tree|
(photo from arborday.org)
|A classic example of damage from holiday lights wound around a tree trunk|
(photo from The Calgary Herald)
P.S. Also, remember to throw out your wreath after the New Year--don't be "that neighbor" who leaves it up until Valentine's Day. It's served its purpose and could be a fire hazard :)