Those ‘lovely branches’? Don’t damage the bark

No nails, screws, staples, spikes etc. 

Reminder not to use nails, screws & staples when decorating City trees for the holidays

COVINGTON, Ky. – If you’re going to decorate a streetside tree for the holidays, don’t damage the tree.

Specifically, don’t use nails, screws, staples, spikes, screw-in hooks, or anything else that creates a pathway for insects or disease.

Tha’s a friendly reminder from Covington’s urban forester, Cassandra Homan, who said she’s seen an array of situations recently where someone’s enthusiasm for the holiday season led to injured trees.

“I’ve seen some pretty cute decorations, and I don’t want to curtail that,” she said. “My message is decorate away, but do it in such a way that doesn’t damage the bark.”

String, straps, and Zip Ties are better materials for attaching decorations and lights. But even then, if those are left on the tree for a long time, people need to adjust them and create some slack to allow for growth, especially for young trees.

“I’ve had to cut off way too many strands of lights that were literally choking the tree,” Homan said.

That message isn’t just for the holidays, by the way. Throughout the year, people shouldn’t be nailing yard sale signs, bird feeders, reflectors, and anything else to a City tree. And if a tree is strapped to a post for support, that strap has to be loosened after a period of time (to prevent situations like that in the second photo above.)

“It takes a long time for a tree to grow and just a short time to kill it if someone is reckless in damaging its bark,” she said. “Building an urban canopy that beautifies an area and provides shade and a myriad other health benefits takes ongoing vigilance.”

For Do’s and Don’ts of decorating trees, see HERE.

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