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Simple and Fast Pole Trees Print E-mail

In my display, you will see 4 smaller trees on the left (garage) side of the house.  While I purchased these commercially as kits (consisting of the center pole, stakes, and the star), you can very easily create the look.  All you need are 16 small tent stakes, and a piece of 1" PVC. 

These trees are easy to build, and set up quickly

For each pole tree you wish to construct, purchase a 1" piece of PVC as long as you want your tree high.  My trees range in size from 6 feet to 9 feet.  You could go as high as 10 feet, but the center pole may bend a bit. 

Also purchase 16 tent stakes.  These don't need to be nearly as large as the mega tree ones.  Plastic and 6 to 8 inches long should do just fine.

Construction is very simple:   At one end, cut 4 notches out of the pipe using a saw.  You want a 'Castle Turret' look at the top.  The notches need only be an inch or so deep, and should be at 90 degree angles from each other (IE: directly across from each other).  When you are done, paint the PVC green with spray paint.   That's it!


Tom W. was nice enough to send in this suggestion for the top of the pole tree, and included some pictures.  I think it's an excellent idea!  Thanks Tom!


I took your topper instructions and reworked them slightly.  I have three different colors on my pole trees and it got a little crowded at the top.  As you suggested, I cut notches in the pvc cap, but it was still pretty crowded.
Instead, I took your idea about the mega tree topper and cut a 2" (diameter) x 1" piece of wood (using a hole saw) and attached them by screwing PVC caps to the wood.  I then took some 2 inch drywall screws and screwed them to the wood ... It locks those light strands in place just dandy.


1 - Drive a piece of wood/pipe/whatever into the center where you want you tree. 

2 - Using this table, choose a diameter/height combination:

Tree Height

Tree Diameter
(Radius = 1/2 diameter) 

Stake Spacing  Length of lights needed
 9 Feet  9 Feet  21 Inches  175 Feet
 9 Feet  6 Feet  14 Inches  160 Feet
 8 Feet  8 Feet  19 Inches  155 Feet
 8 Feet  6 Feet  14 Inches  145 Feet
 7 Feet  7 Feet  16 Inches  140 Feet
 7 Feet  5 Feet  12 Inches  130 Feet
 6 Feet  6 Feet  14 Inches  120 Feet
 6 Feet  4 Feet  9 Inches  110 Feet

3 - Just as with the mega tree: tie a string to this center post, measure out the radius, tie on a measuring device (tape measure, stick cut to correct length, whatever) and space out the tent stakes. 

4 - Remove the wood/pipe, and in it's place put the 1" PVC.  I found it is easiest to place your ladder next to the center and use it to steady the center pole during setup.  I just use a small bungee cord, and hook it around the ladder and pole to hold it upright.   In the end, the pole will stand upright on its own.

5 - Starting with any stake, put a bulb under the hook and drive it in.  Run the lights from there to the top of the pole, into a notch and back down to the stake DIRECTLY OPPOSITE of the one you started at.  Count the stakes if you have to!  Beware that this is different than stringing a mega tree.  Be sure to keep the lights tight enough that they don't sag, but not so tight that they bend the pole.  Try to keep the pole straight - eyeballing it is fine, no need for a level here.

6 - Moving counter clockwise run the set on the ground to the next tent stake, secure the lights by driving the stake in, and then go up to the top of the pole and back down again to the stake directly opposite of the one you just left and secure in the same fashion.

7 - Continue this back and forth, up and down, action until you finish the tree. 
When you run out of lights: Take the last bulb and hold it together with the first bulb of your next set.  Using the lead wire from the next set, tie a single square knot around both bulbs.  Plug in the new set into the socket of the last set and keep going.  Depending on how high and wide your tree is, you may need up to 7 or 8 sets.  Don't worry I won't tell anyone that you are breaking the 3 set rule (I personally have never had a problem).

If you have lights left over at the end, lay them on the ground around the base of the tree.

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