A company which pioneered the country’s only lamppost-mounted solar-powered Christmas trees has launched a brand new hanging version of its ground-breaking design to help spread even more festive cheer this December.
Plantscape has spent the last two years developing, designing and testing the new product, which it says offers councils and businesses more flexibility as they seek to celebrate the festive period by mounting a display of Christmas lights.
The company, which is based in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, made history when it originally launched its solar-powered Christmas trees in 2007.
Designed to slot into its patented Holestar lamppost planter bracket, the product featured a solar panel mounted above the tree, which captured energy from the sun – even in ambient winter lighting – which is then stored in a battery in the base, ready to power a display of 80 twinkling LED lights when darkness falls.
Its new design has seen the solar panel transferred to the underside of the base, allowing the tree – which weighs the same as one of Plantscape’s hanging baskets – to be hung from a conventional hanging basket bracket, on sign-posts, the sides of buildings and basket trees, increasing the scope of suitable locations for the trees.
Plantscape supplies a range of 12,000 hanging baskets, multi-tier floor-standing planters and decorative street furniture ready planted every summer but such has been the success of its Christmas trees that it has just invested £50,000 to expand its premises in order to store them all.
Last year the company supplied a record 1,100 of the trees – which are only available for rental – to organisations up and down the country and is aiming to hire out even more, including 400 of its new hanging trees.
Mark Stone, the company’s managing director, said: “Our solar-powered trees have been extremely successful since we introduced them eight years ago and are new hanging trees are designed to complement them by increasing the locations in which they can be installed.
“They are extremely easy to install and all completely self-contained, so there is none of the hassle of connecting them to a power source and no electricity bill to pay at the end of the season.
“Many people are surprised that our trees give such a good and long-lasting display even on a gloomy, rainy day in December, but the solar technology we use is so advanced that it makes that possible. At a time when many councils are scrapping festive light displays because of growing costs, we believe our solar-powered trees are the answer to ensuring that our streets stay lit for Christmas.”
Plantscape’s Christmas trees are the only products of their type on the market and last year they brightened up the winter nights as far afield as Oban in Scotland and East Grinstead in Sussex.
The company says it has already received a number of orders for solar-powered trees and has also introduced a service which allows it to supply both real and artificial trees.