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OK for the last week I have seen a lot of posts, on different sites, from Newbies and seasoned decorators saying the same thing "My Tree fell over!!!" or "My Tree is bent"

When I look at the pictures they are all missing the same thing GUIDE LINES!! I don't care how flat or stable the ground is that your tree is on, guide lines should be used, at least 2. This isn't a flag pole and the only thing is a flag going on it. You are basically blanketing a tree with light, making it like a sail, and with a good wind it will go over. Also PVC pipe can be used, but remember that the height of your tree should determine what type of material you should be using. As far as I am concerned any megatree should be have a center pole made out of metal pipe, with the base of it in the ground at least 3 feet.

Not venting people, but there are enough posts out there concerning this problem and people still seem to make them thinking Gravity is going to hold them straight.

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Thank you for the excellent advice.

This was our first year with a megatree and I posted many questions here at PC. I researched the products used and different ideas on how to build them. I ended up having the 23ft tree on a concrete patio so I made sure to listen and use 8 guy wires, 4 at the top and 4 at the 10 ft level. We are expecting high winds tomorrow here in Ca. so I hope everything will be ok.

The only area I am concerned with is that I used a vinyl covered wire from lowes that is not rated as high as the more expensive cable, but it does feel solid and I have used turnbuckles to make sure it is tight. Other than that I hope we are good.

Alan

Note: the tree ended up with over 9000 lights, so it could be considered an actual "sail".

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The wire is important. The vinyl covered wire is a thinner guage and it could cause a problem, but with 8 lines it should be OK. I work in the Sacramento Valley, Woodland (Yolo County) and I know what you mean about the wind today. I live up towards Chico, but up towards the Sierra's, where the wind is not suppose to get as strong. My tree is about 30 feet high with 5 3/16 guide lines with 1 thats is level with the top and goes arpund a limb on a tree next to it. Just to stop the top to fall completely on the ground should something happen. the rest are attached to ground anchors cemented in the ground.

Thank you for the excellent advice.

This was our first year with a megatree and I posted many questions here at PC. I researched the products used and different ideas on how to build them. I ended up having the 23ft tree on a concrete patio so I made sure to listen and use 8 guy wires, 4 at the top and 4 at the 10 ft level. We are expecting high winds tomorrow here in Ca. so I hope everything will be ok.

The only area I am concerned with is that I used a vinyl covered wire from lowes that is not rated as high as the more expensive cable, but it does feel solid and I have used turnbuckles to make sure it is tight. Other than that I hope we are good.

Alan

Note: the tree ended up with over 9000 lights, so it could be considered an actual "sail".

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This is my first year with a mega tree. I have had mine up since 1st week of Oct. with no issues. It has seen gusts of 50+mph and still standing. 4 guy wires secured to 4 screw anchors doing a great job. I didn't concern myself with calculating loading imposed on the guy wires, I just picked up some small diameter guy wire and installed it. I agree with bdedith don't use pvc (unless you are planning a bathroom remodel).

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I'd think any steal cable over 1/8" has little chance of failing. I made my 17 footers like a radio tower. Just sits on the ground. Guy wires do all the work. Only have them at the top though, little concerned about the pipe fitting halfway up, but 40 mph wind so far and no problem. Used a pulley system to take the lights up and down, best idea ever.

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I've had 3 incarnations of my 20' Mega Tree. Never had a failure.

Version 1 was used for 2 years. It was 2" PVC with a coupling between the two 10' pieces, and inside, a smaller diameter 5' piece sat on the ground which allowed a 10' piece to span the joint on the inside. 4 guys at the top, 4 in the middle, all made of nylon line. Base was a 5' steel pipe driven halfway into the ground. Rigged all the lights on the ground and walked it up using an extension ladder to support the pole. Never failed, but boy it was scary looking before it was finally secured. (Picture of scariness: http://deltavillelig...ee%20-%20Up.JPG)

Version 2 was also used for 2 years, was 1 1/4" metal pipe, 2 10' pieces with a standard coupling. Same guy wires, same base. No issues. Rigged this one in the air, using an 8' ladder on top of some scaffolding. (Picture of scaffolding setup: http://a7.sphotos.ak...768835_1740.jpg)

Version 3 replaced the coupling with the CLS internal coupler so that I could use a pulley system. Eliminated the middle guy's - now 4 guys coming from the top, standard nylon line going to 2x2's driven into the ground. Had a problem with the weight of the lights causing the pipe to settle into the ground, remedied by drilling a hole in a piece of scrap 2x4 the diameter of the 5' steel pipe that drives into the ground, and the mega pole itself sits on the wood block.

I will note I am different than many Megas - My light lines go to stakes in the ground, not around an elevated ring, so they are a little less of a "sail" than others. However, this is my 7th 20' tree, and have never had a "collapse". (Picture of the 2010 Mega: http://www.deltavillelights.com/pics10/DSC_6130-1.jpg)

Edited by Stephen Blue
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I'm the exception. 18' tree. 2" pipe 2' into the ground with 18' of 1-1/2" rigid conduit. 5 years, no fall down even in the huge storm that hit a few years ago. I did attach a safety cable to keep it from falling towards the sidewalk in case it does fall. Fingers crossed because I'm in Northern California also and we're expecting strong winds tonight and tomorrow.

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The winds are about 35 MPH here right now, at home about 18 to 20

I'm the exception. 18' tree. 2" pipe 2' into the ground with 18' of 1-1/2" rigid conduit. 5 years, no fall down even in the huge storm that hit a few years ago. I did attach a safety cable to keep it from falling towards the sidewalk in case it does fall. Fingers crossed because I'm in Northern California also and we're expecting strong winds tonight and tomorrow.

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Version 3 replaced the coupling with the CLS internal coupler so that I could use a pulley system. Eliminated the middle guy's - now 4 guys coming from the top, standard nylon line going to 2x2's driven into the ground. Had a problem with the weight of the lights causing the pipe to settle into the ground, remedied by drilling a hole in a piece of scrap 2x4 the diameter of the 5' steel pipe that drives into the ground, and the mega pole itself sits on the wood block.

How tight is that CLS coupler. I thought long and hard about buying them, but didn't. I'm using standard couplers with pulleys and it is holding fine...as of now. No middle guys, little wiggle, but not bad.

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How tight is that CLS coupler. I thought long and hard about buying them, but didn't. I'm using standard couplers with pulleys and it is holding fine...as of now. No middle guys, little wiggle, but not bad.

It's "supposed" to slide in and out fairly easily I think. However, I used 2-year old poles, and it was an hour of hammering to get it all the way in. It won't ever be coming apart, I'd imagine.

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It's "supposed" to slide in and out fairly easily I think. However, I used 2-year old poles, and it was an hour of hammering to get it all the way in. It won't ever be coming apart, I'd imagine.

I called Daryl about the tight fit and he explained it well.

The pipe I purchased was from Lowes and there is a bead weld inside, I just took a round file and filed it down a little and the center pin works perfect. The tolerance is very tight and the poles do not move, excellent product.

We are having 50 mile an hour gusts here in Southern Ca. right now and since this is my first mega I was a little tense (ok a lot tense) the tree is solid and the products that I purchased from Daryl work perfect. I do have 8 guy wires and the pole is solid.

Alan

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I called Daryl about the tight fit and he explained it well.

The pipe I purchased was from Lowes and there is a bead weld inside, I just took a round file and filed it down a little and the center pin works perfect. The tolerance is very tight and the poles do not move, excellent product.

We are having 50 mile an hour gusts here in Southern Ca. right now and since this is my first mega I was a little tense (ok a lot tense) the tree is solid and the products that I purchased from Daryl work perfect. I do have 8 guy wires and the pole is solid.

Alan

Good to know. I also got my 1 1/4 pipe from Lowes....but 8 guy wires wow. I only used 3 at the top, none in the middle. My pipe has about a 1/2 inch wiggle at the coupler, but 40 mph gusts didn't harm it. I am keeping an eye on it just in case. I can easily add middle guys, but the CLS center pin will have to wait for next year. I have no interest in reattaching 192 strands of lights. lol

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I have actually been thinking of putting my first 20' mega tree up on my roof. Me being a welder/machinist, I have the tools and material to build a 20' rigid pole, then insert it into a saddle with 4 steel legs that will run down the sides of the roof approx 4 feet, the saddle will be made out of 1/4" steel plate that will shed the weight between 4 rafters. I will then have my guys running down to anchors in the roof as well as on the ground. My wife thinks this is a bit much, however I have yet to see a residential building with a 20' tree on it... then again there may be a reason for that. Oh and btw, Mr. Blue, that picture with you on a step ladder positioned on a scaffold reminds me of a safety video I saw at work just a few weeks ago, I hope the ladder is strapped to the scaffold plank for safety. :)

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I found from experience that the way the guy wires are anchored to the ground is just as important as everything else. I used 2' screw anchors my first year. It worked well in the wind but not in wind and rain. Once the ground was saturated from the rain the wind took care of the rest. It is not fun trying to untangle and repair a fallen mega tree. My solution was to use the same anchors but imbed them in concrete. It has worked since then and allows me to sleep a little better at night. It is definitely worth the extra effort and little cost for peace of mind.

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I found from experience that the way the guy wires are anchored to the ground is just as important as everything else. I used 2' screw anchors my first year. It worked well in the wind but not in wind and rain. Once the ground was saturated from the rain the wind took care of the rest. It is not fun trying to untangle and repair a fallen mega tree. My solution was to use the same anchors but imbed them in concrete. It has worked since then and allows me to sleep a little better at night. It is definitely worth the extra effort and little cost for peace of mind.

Did exactly the same thing. I made sure I put the anchor in at a an angle and then dumped cement on top of them . I got mine at TSC the auger type ones.

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