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Wrapping a spiral tree

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Okay, fourth year doing a spiral tree, and I have tried several ways of wrapping it.  Upright, walking the strings around, on it's side, spinning the tree. and STILL wanting to know the best way.  I measure all the strings and they are within a half inch on length, and I know the first string is the most important. This year I'm going for three layers of lights, two of multi color strings (32 total)  and 8 each blue and white (48 strings total). 

 

What is the BEST way to wrap the dang tree?  It's driving me crazy!

 

Tom Straub

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Double bump

 

I'm also very interested in any hints as I am also about to do it for the first time  :D

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Well I do know a few things. My tree is 15' with 6' base, Galvanized Pipe pole, homemade topper w 4 inner guys and 16 outer.  First year attached the 16 strings and stretched them out high enough to walk them around one at a time.  Worked okay, but my strings were different lengths.  Same 2nd year, but I measured all the strings to within a 1/2 inch of each other, worked a bit better. Last year tipped the tree on it's side and supported top and bottom so I could spin it.  Worked okay, but a bit un-wieldy,  Just trying to figure out how some other do it to see if there are better ways.

 

Tom Straub 

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I used the spiral tree calculator (which can be searched on this site) to determine spacing between strings.  It all depends on the size of your tree, how many revolutions, and length of strings.  After finding the spacing, which for my tree was 11 1/4", I laid my vertical support wires down and painted a bright green stripe across all wires every 11 1/4".  After installing verticle support wires and attaching to my base ring, I started at the top with a light string and spiralled down intersecting each green stripe diagonally downward and zip tying at those marks. (LOTS of zip ties!)  The top 1/3 of the tree is easier to get at from inside the tree as my base is 10' wide and it is hard to reach from the outside of the base to the top from a ladder.  You can attach multiple strings as you progress down and it saves moving ladders around the tree as you spiral the lights.  The whole bundle of lights is collapsable during take down and after removing the bottoms of the strings from the base, I tie twine around it as it is on the ground thru the middle (think of wrapping string around a doughnut thru thru the doughnut hole) to keep the whole bundle intact.  It then gets folded and put in a large bin.  It has been a few years and now I just put the whole bundle of lights with vert support wires attached on my telescoping flagpole and raise them to the desired height. No tangles or rewrapping every year.  It took a full day to originally wrap and zip tie but now only takes less then an hour to get the lights up. 

It is not easy to get proper spacing by walking the light strings around the tree unless it is fairly short and easily reachable.  Taking the time for proper spacing will make all your hard work stand out.

 

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Not sure I understand this method.  Can you show and example, or explain so even a dummy like myself can under stand? :unsure:

 

Tom Straub 

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I've had a 14' spiral tree for 5 or so years.  The first year I did what Mwhite did (used calculator, marked the cables where each string would cross, etc.).  I had hoped to leave it all connected (16 cables to the pole, light strings to the cables) for the following year - and I was successful with that - until set-up the following year.  I was a horrible rat's nest and took me more time untangling than setting it up in the first place.  I vowed to do better the following year and took more care with the take-down at the end of the season, but I had similar results to the prior year.  So, what do I do now? 

 

I still leave the cables attached to the pole year to year (along with mega tree strings attached to the cables), but the spiral strings come off at the end of each year.  I attach them to the top each year and have a helper walk them around the tree and attach to the cable at the bottom.  That's it, a zip tie at the top and a zip tie at the bottom.  The lights hold their place just fine in the middle, and if I feel I need a little adjustment, I throw a zip tie mid-way for a string or two.  It's easy to take down, much less aggravating in set-up, and it looks great.  It's easy once you have the first string on there to use it as a pattern for the subsequent strings so it looks very consistent and uniform.

 

Oh, getting to the top to attach the strings with the tree already up is easy.  I've got 16 guy lines (cables) stabilizing the tree, so I just lean my extension ladder up there and have no problems attaching the strings at the top.  Mwhite's method of dropping the strings down doesn't work for my tree since I don't have a telescoping flagpole - my topper is permanaent since it also acts as the anchor for the guy wires to the pole.

 

Galen

Edited by Galen

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ok im not sure ill be much help but i made the PVC spiral like the video i attached and i kind of made my own adjustments to the size to make my base a little larger.

specifications:

*9.5' tall and the base is almost 4.75' across

*my tree is 16ch 1 50ct red led per channel for this year (next year adding 16ch or green and 16ch of blue)

*i started by going under the pvc fitting at the top and measuring every 4" and placing a screw that the led strand can rest against and then i only ziptie at the bottom

 

ill try to post a few pictures to further explain it 

 

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