Secure the lights to the trunk of the tree to keep them from slipping.

How to Strap Rope Lights to Trees

by April Sanders

Rope lights are a practical way to light up areas of your landscape. They are also a way to add mood lighting for a party, holidays or any other special occasion. The tiny lights are encased in a tube of waterproof plastic, which means you can easily bend them around the trunk of a tree. The coils have a tendency to slip down the tree, so if you want them to stay put, you need to secure them in place.

Mounting Clips

Plug the end of the rope lights into an outlet. This allows you to test the lights, and it will also allow them to warm up. As the rope lights warm up, they become more flexible. Once they're warm, unplug them.

Place a cap on one end of the rope lights. Then, take the capped end and lift it to the highest part of the tree. You may need to use a ladder. Screw in a mounting clip, and snap the capped end of the rope light into the clip.

Wrap the lights around the trunk or branches of the tree, securing the lights occasionally with a mounting clip.

Plug the end of the rope lights into an outdoor outlet or outdoor extension cord.

Zip Ties

Use zip ties to secure the rope lights to branches as you wrap them around the tree. This will protect your tree from damage, as inserting screws into trees can damage the wood, notes North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Drape the rope over a branch as you wrap it around the trunk, and then wrap the zip tie around the branch and rope light.

Pull the end of the zip tie through the locking end to secure the rope light in place, and clip off any excess with wire cutters or sharp shears.

Repeat at intervals where the branches meet the trunk of the tree.

Items you will need

  • Outdoor extension cord
  • Rope light end cap
  • Ladder
  • Screw mounts for rope lights
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Zip ties
  • Wire cutters or sharp shears


  • If the tree has rough bark, you may not need to strap the rope lights to the tree at all.
  • Use dark brown zip ties so they're not as obvious.


  • Do not pull, tug or bend the rope lights excessively as this can damage the thin wires inside the plastic.
  • If you are using a ladder, have someone steady the ladder as your drape the lights.
  • Never wrap the lights around the tree when they are plugged in.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images