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Where abouts are you located?  I'm in Madison area.  I try to have my lights about 6" off the ground to help compensate for snow cover and rabbits.

Edited by scubado
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What type of pole/base do you have on your trees currently?   I plan on putting a pipe in the ground this summer and cap it off just below the grass.  Then when I am ready I will remove the cap and insert the center pole from the tree into the pipe in the ground for strength and to avoid using any guide wires.   So I will be adding extra length to the center pole for what goes into the ground plus the height that I want to keep the lights off the ground.  A hoop at the bottom, attached to the center pole to wrap the lights at the bottom.  When it comes to take it down I just need to pull up on the center pipe and not worry about the snow or frozen ground.

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I ran into a similar winter problem. My mega tree froze to the ground so now I'm trying to figure out how to melt it so I can take it down without risk to it. As I made my frame out of treated 2x4 next year I will have an extra 2x4 screwed to the bottom of the frame so when it's takedown time I can just unscrew the sacrificial 2x4 and leave it frozen to the ground if need be....

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If you leave enough slack in your cables at the bottom going to the controller you could have holes in the center pole and when you lift it up to a new height, insert a pin to set the tree a new height above the snow quickly.  That way it's not just sticking way out of the ground if there was no snow.

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I'm also from Wisconsin and a majority of my display is on stilts made with 1/2" EMT.  Most elements are at least 18" from the grass (including leaping arches) , yes they look stupid in the daytime but then again who has lights on during the day?  This year I still had to dig out a lot of the smaller elements like mini trees - but remember a leaf blower is your friend! 

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I also from WI. , I ran rebar into the ground in 4 points to support pex at 3' height then ran the strings down to it . ( my flag plole is the center of my mega tree) .

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