Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Attach a Lighting Mount to a Tree

Outdoor lighting can serve many purposes such as security lighting, pathway illumination or as a landscape design element. Lighting positioned on a tree can allow for the widest beam shining downward and can be safer than ground-mounted lighting that could be tripped over or hit by a lawnmower. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests using LED (light emitting diode) lights that last longer and illuminate better than incandescent lights. Only a few supplies are needed to attach a lighting mount to a tree.

Examine the desired location for the light at night. With an assistant to hold the ladder, shine a bright flashlight or treble light at the ground or the desired point of illumination from a height of 10 to 15 feet up the tree trunk.

Mark the desired location on the tree. Use spray paint or a rope tied around the tree to mark the location where you want to mount the light on the tree.

Cut a pressure-treated board to use as a base for the light. The board should be 1 inch thick, at least as wide as the base of the light, and at least 2 inches taller than the height of the base of the light.

Center the assembled light on the board and then screw the light to the board, using the screws that came with the light.

Position the board with the attached light at the desired location on the tree. Attach the board to the tree with two 2 1/4-inch galvanized screws, one each at the center top and center bottom of the board.


Ensure the chosen location does not shine light into windows. U-shaped plastic clips, available in the electric department of a hardware store, can be used to secure the dangling cord to the tree.


Utility lines or pipes may run below ground on your property, even if the utility is not connected to your house. Before digging the ground to lay underground cable for outside lighting, follow guidelines in your area to have the ground checked for utilities. If branches need to be cut, use extreme care in handling saws or power tools. Have someone hold the ladder to ensure it does not fall away from the tree while you climb.

Garden Guides