You have a few choices.
Temporary cord to the tree from an indoor receptacle.
Receptacle on the outside wall of the house and then a cord to the tree
Receptacle at the tree.
Last option is the most difficult. It requires a trench to the tree
location, wire from the house to the trench and then up on a pipe with the
box mounted on it. Check the code, but it must be buried 12" at least, but
don't quote me, it could be more. Any outdoor circuit must have ground
fault protection too.
Mounting a receptacle on the outside of the house it usually not to hard,
but getting the wire to it can be. What makes the project big or small is
how to run the wire. In my case I was able to drill through the wall from a
crawlspace under the front steps, mount the box on the wall. Entire project
as less than an hour, including a switch. Brick or stone houses are more
difficult to do.
In either case, consider wiring a switch inside the house to control the
receptacle. Advantages are that you don't have to go out in cold or rain to
turn the lights off and on, you don't have to worry about someone using your
electric when you are not home.
Not sure why a regular extension cord wouldn't work unless you want
If for some reason you ever feel compelled to dig something like a trench in
your yard, make sure you first call the utilities and have them mark buired
cables etc. They do this for free (at least around here).
You can buy a 25' extension cord for around $5. I'd connect it to a
GFI. If you dont feel competent to wire a GFI, you can get a plug in
GFI for around $20. Total cost $25 and you wont have a thing sticking
out of the lawn to mow around. Plus putting an outlet to a tree is
not a good idea. The tree will grow into the outlet, and the roots
may wreck the underground wire.
Besides, Christmas is less than a week away. Just decorate, get
extension cord, GFI and be done with it for cripes sake.
By the way, I am a farmer and I have hundreds of feet of extension
cords outdoors to run my livestock tank heaters. I am in the snowbelt
too. I use GFI's on all of them, and put connections inside plastic
bags. I even have an old computer case in the middle of my yard,
where several wires connect together on a power strip. The computer
case is under the snow right now, but it all works fine. Your 20 feet
makes me laugh.....
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