Bring seasonal joy to your deck patio with these quick tips for decorating an outdoor tree

By Julia Rutland
August 12, 2008
Jean Allsopp

Faux, Faux, Faux
Avoid the hassle (and mess) of keeping a live tree indoors. This year, consider an artificial tree. Their look and quality improves each year and they remain a quick, easy, and environmentally friendly alternative to live trees. Make a natural statement by leaving your tree unadorned or liven any space with a faux tree sprayed in white. Complement either look with easy-to-manage live wreaths and garland

No Worries
The prospect of broken glass ornaments around the patio or pool area keeps many decorated trees indoors. Now, attractive shatterproof ornaments are readily available in retail craft stores. For a whimisical look with strong visual impact, choose oversize ornaments. Unbreakable pewter sea stars give our stunning white tree simple bling and keep the coastal theme consistent.

Holiday Glow
Try using oversize bulbs on your outdoor tree. Multicolor C-25 lights offer a vintage look while single-color strands lend a modern vibe. Wrap the tree's trunk with larger lights for a more three-dimensional effect. New LED lights burn whiter, last longer, and use less electricity than traditional mini lights. Be sure to use only outdoor-approved lights on your tree, and an outdoor outlet.

Keep the Spirit … Upright
Problems with gusting winds? Prevent tip-overs by securing the tree to a permanent structure with fishing line. Or try weighing down the tree stand with bags of sand.

Double Duty
When limited space is a factor, head to your favorite garden center. Rosemary topiaries range in height from 1 foot to more than 3 feet. For these small plants, use fewer and cooler lights. Water frequently. After the holiday season, plant the rosemary in your garden for year-round color and aroma, as well as a culinary delight.