h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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Ho ho ho.
The combined efforts of several industries, including metal
refining, press-forming, spot welding and powder coating
have managed to produce near-perfect Christmas tree
holders. The example in the Buchanan household is a sort
of vertical cylindrical cup supported on three ornate
The base of the Christmas tree sits in the cup, and three
screws then clamp the tree radially.
Sadly, arboriculture has not kept pace with developments
in Christmas tree holder technology. The stumpy end of
the Buchanan tree is quite inconsiderately non-cylindrical.
This leads to difficulties.
Would it be too much trouble, therefore, to run the bottom
ends of all Christmas trees through a device which (a)
makes them evenly cylindrical and (b) reduces them to the
nearest whole-inch diameter? Then, the tree holders could
be produced in standard diameters to snugly accommodate
one's chosen yuletide tree,
Not related Xmas tree ideas
[JesusHChrist, Dec 09 2012]
||What about the xylem? The phloem? I am concerned that your intemperate lathing would damage xylem and phloem, rendering the tree unable to quench its thirst from the water reservoir which is a componentof that tree stand. Your tree would dry out and be much less able to withstand the home-made light-strings and smoldering butt-ends which might be flung about the household.
||You could however grow the trees with a clamp around their trunk which would keep a standard diameter easily enough.
||// I am concerned that your intemperate lathing
would damage xylem and phloem, rendering the
tree unable to quench its thirst//
||It would not damage the xylem or the phloem - it
would obliterate them.
||However, what we are looking at here is a 15ft
piece of treeery which has been sawn off at the
ankles, stuck in a lorry for a couple of days, driven
to a Christmas Tree Emporium, and propped up
against a wall on concrete slabs
for the better part of a week.
||Frankly, I don't believe that such a traumatized
tree is going to be imbibing anything, xylem or no
xylem, with the exception of a deep draught of
irony at the thought that Christmas is meant to be
a celebration of birth.
||There is probably a market for a Christmas tree
pressurizer which can deliver water to the stump
at a pressure of several thousand p.s.i., to
overcome the air which will have infiltrated the
xylem. Such a device would also be capable of
launching the tree to a considerable altitude
when the clamps were released after Christmas.
||//Maybe just drill a small hole and provide a spike
at the bottom of the cylinder//
||There would be some fearsome stresses involved,
both on the spike and on the tree, which might
split if it were trying to lean to one side with the
rigid spike inside the bored hole.
||Moreover, a Christmas tree with a hole drilled in
the base looks less engineeringy than one with a
beautifully lathed base.
||I do like the screw thread idea. I suspect that
growing a tree in such a clamp would entail some
fearsome forces, but the thread could be carved
after the fact.
||I honestly doubt that a cut tree stood in water
takes up anything much, with or without its outer
||Maybe it would be more in the spirit of christmas to
soak the base of the trunk in superheated steam for
a few hours, softening it to the point where it could
be molded into the desired shape.
||//I suspect that growing a tree in such a clamp would entail some fearsome forces// Not really. A band of steel a few mm thick can easily restrict and shape the growth of a tree trunk. It's something of a myth that growing trees can exert very large forces.
||Have you been growing square trees again?
||Was that a lucky guess? I did try to grow a square poplar once. It blew over before it was finished (I learned that you have to guy them), but the bottom section was square.