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Mega Tree PVC question


Dcroc
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I picked up 3" PVC (10') to use for a mega tree.  I'm starting to think that it may bow with all the weight on it. Was planning on making a sleeve for it to slide into, which would be cemented 2' into the ground. Is 3" gonna be strong enough?  Maybe should go with 4".  Thinking it could double as a flag pole for 4th of July display so was looking for something strong enough to avoid the need for guy wires.

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PVC is great to use for arches. Think about all the vertical poles the professionals use: Flag poles; Antenna towers; Street lights; Traffic lights... Now think about how many of those are plastic.

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My two megatrees, are two sections each of 1 inch black pipe..a 10 foot section and a 5 foot section with a F to F coupler in the middle. The bottom screws into a screw base which is attached to a piece of wood. Through the wood, a hole is drilled so that I can use a 3/4 inch piece of pvc stuck into the ground, the 1 inch pipe and screw base goes over it. All this does is keep the bottom from moving. 4 1/16th inch guide wires from the top to the ground to hold it up. I use a pvc colar on top with S-hooks in it, to hang the strings and the string guide wires. 

 

Now something I saw on thechristmaslightstore this year...they are carrying a screw-in cable hook for megatrees which looked like a great idea, plus they came out with a screw in base for holding megatree base rings...I bought enough of them for my two trees and now looking forward to putting up the megatrees.

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My first year I used 4" black pvc pipe total of 15ft.  I only had 12 strings of lights and it still bowed.  It didn't bow alot but it still did.  Then I switched to 1 1/4" black water pipe and went to 27ft for my mege tree.  No issues with steel.

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My first year I used 4" black pvc pipe total of 15ft.  I only had 12 strings of lights and it still bowed.  It didn't bow alot but it still did.  Then I switched to 1 1/4" black water pipe and went to 27ft for my mege tree.  No issues with steel.

Not sure if I'm thinking the same thing or not, but black pipe isn't for water, its for natural gas.

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I have a 14ft mega tree using 12ft of 1-1/2" PVC. Have 16 strands plus the star on it. Does bow a little, but painted it black and you don't notice it at all during the show. It's held up two seasons now! Will definitely upgrade the pole before adding any more weight to the tree.

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Not sure if I'm thinking the same thing or not, but black pipe isn't for water, its for natural gas.

I found this about black vs. galvanized: http://www.ehow.com/info_8386905_difference-pipe-galvanized-steel-pipe.html

It says that black pipe is used for gas because it's made without a seam. It also says that black pipe is used for fire sprinkler systems because it is more fire-resistant. Black steel pipe costs less because it doesn't have the zinc coating, but that also means it corrodes faster. Because a mega tree is exposed to the weather, the best choice is galvanized, but since we don't care about leaks, you can probably use either.

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Ok, That makes a lot of sense. I've known all along that black pipe is used for gas and galvanized is no longer used in homes in favor of copper and a few others such as the new flexible types. I did not know that black pipe could be used for water though.

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I used 2" schedule 40, PVC; 17' of pipe, 2' sunk in ground. The star is almost 2' tall, it's heavy as it's three wireframes star topper. I guy the tree at the top and mid-point; no bowing, no problems for 5 years now. Oh it holds 48 strands of lights. At the splice point I inserted about a 4' long wood 2x2 to make the splice rigid. And it's been through some strong storms and winds.

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Every year when the first wind storm hits pictures of failed PVC megatrees show up on the forums. It's a horrible sight when you understand the work that went into them. I'm not saying every PVC tree will fail. But if you are designing a new tree, why risk it?

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http://www.magicchristmasnews.org/magic_christmas_news_003.htm

 

Portable Hole II and JUMP found here

 

Or An all Metal Base:

http://www.christmaslightshow.com/product.php?productid=1031&cat=31&page=1

 

Either one will cost in the neighborhood of $200. You won't need to worry about it bowing or falling or breaking.

 

I did the PVC route a few years ago. The tree stayed up during December, but it need replacing the next season. 

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