St. Charles Avenue homeowners light up majestic oak trees after hiatus

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Homeowners Rick and Lisa Farrell decorate their live oaks every other year, to avoid damage to the trees. (Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger)

By Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger

What’s large, has limbs and is enveloped with 70,000 small white lights? Three majestic oak trees across from the Academy of the Sacred Heart on St. Charles Avenue.

Three live oaks on St. Charles Avenue near Napoleon are lit up for Christmas this year. (Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger)

After a year’s hiatus, these Instagram holiday favorites can be viewed from the street, illuminated by an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 strands of lights — for a total of 70,000 lights, according to Rick Farrell, the St. Charles Avenue homeowner who wraps the trees in light for the Christmas holiday. The fence and bushes also glow with white lights.

Farrell and his wife, Lisa, started this tradition in 2012, saying that “it makes us happy seeing them.”

The Farrells decorate the trees every other year as to not stress the trees, Rick Farrell said in an email. The lifts used to put up the lights can compress the roots, he said, while the lights can mess with the trees’ photosynthesis.

After almost three weeks installing the lights, the Farrells pulled the switch Wednesday night. The oaks will glow until Jan. 6, 2020.

Rick and Lisa Farrell spend weeks installing an estimated 4,000 strands of lights around their live oaks for the Christmas holiday. (Sue Strachan, Uptown Messenger)

Reporter Sue Strachan can be reached at

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