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Time to start the mini-trees

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With my successful acquisition of 125 light strings this past week, it's time to start on the mini-trees. Ace has a "deal" on plant stakes online where they are 25 for just under $70. So I bought all of them that my local Ace had. They weren't in the 25 pack, but had the same number on them. Ended up working with the manager to take all he had off his plate. Even took the ones that were damaged a bit (bottom rings were already off - yea!). Of course, when I got home, I realized that I am going to need a LOT more wire ties. Oops... back to the store again soon...

So any good tips on what to do or not do when putting together mini-trees for the first time? These instructions at PC seem to be the "average" set of instructions that I have found. Everyone else does them about the same. Any further hints and tips to make sure to watch out for?

I basically understand that I should take the bottom ring off the cages, go up about 4-6 inches, and start stringing the lights. I also need to make sure I wire tie the top three stakes together for the top of the tree. And I'm supposed to wire tie the first layer every chance I get to the cage, and then every now and then for the rest of the layers. I've heard something about problems with the trees when you stake them to the ground as the lights then ground out in the snow/rain. Any comments on that? Do I need to paint the cages before I run the lights so they don't rust over the years?

Thanks for listening!
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Updated 05-10-2010 at 11:38 AM by scottmcl

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