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I’d like to talk to you a little bit about Christmas Trees and Christmas Tree Toppers. We rent a variety of artificial Christmas Trees and have been working with the tree toppers for many years now. One of the artificial Christmas Trees that we rent is a 30-foot panel tree.
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With this artificial tree we use a Starburst Topper which is unique in that it has the newer LED technology and chasing patterns which allow us to put a Star inside of it. It has 18” to 24” bulbs that chase down it. This animates the top of this 30’ panel tree. One of these trees is currently on “Rent” on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where it is being reserved for use with the Shelter Cove Park as the City tree. While the tree itself is just lights, bows and ornaments- the topper is animated which adds a great burst of uniqueness and excitement to it.
Another tree that has a topper is our 20-foot Tree of Lights. It has been used in Myrtle Beach, SC as well as in Columbia, SC. The Tree of Lights currently has a fiberglass star as it’s topper. It’s primarily made to resemble the North Star. Made from a fiberglass body with a light inside of it. Now the Tree of Lights has no greenery, it’s just chains of lights coming down. It’s more of a Silhouette Tree for use on a building top or roadway because it’s mostly viewed at night, unlike our Panel Tree—which has Greenery and daytime décor.
We also rent a 25-foot Poinsettia tree. It’s a tree made from baskets of either live or artificial plants. We have found it is easier to use the artificial plants so that no watering is required and leaves don’t drop off and make a mess. We can play around with this tree in several ways. One way is to place all red Poinsettia pots in it so it’s a big, red, beautiful tree. We can also replace some of the red with flowers like Inpatients or Petunias to mix up the colors or do a pattern of colors. The topper can also be a Sweet-grass, Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) or other tall flowering plant. This tree of plants would be primarily viewed during the daytime because there are no lights attached to it. If needed, we could use flood or directional lights to light it up in the evening.
We also have branch Trees on which we usually have a bow, or the tip top branch will have a light added. Sometimes we fabricate one out of aluminum. At the Medical University we used silver tassels which were 18 to 36 inches up and looked like a bouquet of stars which made the tree topper look quite dazzling. In the Children’s Hospital we decorated the tree with stuffed animals and then also used a high quality stuffed animal as the tree topper.
When we do a tree topper for a real tree it is a little different. What we have to do is use a 6 to 10-foot pole and go down into the tree to find a hard branch. We then strap the tree topper to this interior strong branch. Most live trees have weak top branches so it’s important to use the right branch for support. If we tried to attach to the top of a Leland Cypress, Holly tree, or a Cedar tree it would just fall over. Of course, you can always place a very light object on top. If you have ever wondered why people place big bows on the top of trees, it’s because they are light and won’t fall over. There are some of the interior trees, like a Frasier Fur, which are often grown for their more durable top and don’t have this problem as much. The issue is really seen more in commercial decorating with outdoor trees than with indoor trees.
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