That magical time of year is almost upon us. Now that Halloween has come and gone, retailers are turning their attention to the next big (arguably the biggest) holiday: Christmas. Shops are being merchandised and decorated for the season. Malls are getting busier. And in the temporary fence business, we’re seeing requests for Christmas tree lots.
Rental fence is the perfect solution for outdoor seasonal retail space. It goes up quickly, temporarily expands your retail footprint, and requires a relatively low investment. As simple as the process sounds, years of experience have taught us that there are some potential hurdles when it comes to building Christmas tree lots. Thankfully, these stumbling blocks are easy to avoid if you know what to look for.
Here are our top three tips for building a successful Christmas tree lot:
The vast majority of Christmas tree lots that we install are set up in parking lots. Parking lots make great sites for temporary fence as the surface is level and even. However, fence can slide on smooth surfaces. This is especially problematic if you’re planning to lean Christmas trees against the fence. Their weight can easily push your fence line out several feet, or even knock the fence over altogether. You certainly don’t want the Christmas tradition of buying a tree to become a safety hazard!
While we offer several stability solutions, the best way to anchor your fence in this situation is with spikes or bolts. Given that most Christmas tree lots take up valuable parking space, you may not be able to exceed the agreed-upon perimeter of your lot. This means that v-bracing and wind braces are less-than-ideal options, since they will jut into neighbouring parking spots.
Spikes and bolts both penetrate the ground to securely anchor the fence, allowing you to safely lean trees against the fence without worrying about it shifting or tipping over. If ground penetration is not possible, sandbags are also a good alternative.
Now that you’ve anchored your fence, you can set up your trees along the entire perimeter of your lot. But what about all that wasted space in the middle? You can use half panels, which are 5’ wide, to construct a “tripod” or triangle of fence which could be used to support more trees. We often build several of these tripods within the lot to maximize the number of trees that can be displayed.
If trees are leaned against all three sides of the tripod, it likely won’t need to be anchored as there is equal force on all sides. It’s a quick and easy way to get even more trees into your lot!
Tripods like this one can be used to support additional trees in the centre of your Christmas tree lot.
This might sound like it benefits Modu-Loc more than anyone else, but hear us out. We know that most Christmas tree lot operators rent their space from a retailer or whoever owns the parking lot. Once the season is over (usually December 25th), you need to clear everything out of the area. If you remove your lot even one day late then you may incur additional rental charges for the space. If your lot is on city-owned property, you could even be fined.
That’s why it is important to keep the fence line clear of snow and ice. The Modu-Loc crew who comes to remove your fence must be able to access it, and the panels must be free of any obstructions. If your fence is partially buried under four feet of snow, or the bases are frozen to the ground, the crew will be unable to remove the fence and may need to come back at a later date. In addition to the extra rental charges (or potential fines) for the space, you may incur extra rental charges for the fence.
By occasionally shoveling around the perimeter of your site and regularly applying salt or sand to combat ice buildup, you’ll protect yourself from unnecessary costs.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for many Canadians, shopping for a Christmas tree is an important part of the tradition. A safe and well-organized Christmas tree lot will ensure a positive experience for those families, and repeat business year after year.
We’re here to answer any questions you may have.