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mwalz

10' Mega- Tree Base

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Want to build 2 10' mega tree's this year. I'll have 1,000 lights on each. I just need a good base. I'll make the PVC pipe for the diameter and all that, but i just need a good way to attach it to the ground. I'm thinking maybe 1 1/2" PVC pipe for the center pole, maybe bigger. I'm not totally sure on the attaching it to the ground, i want to do it cheap as possible also. Any ideas are much appreciated. I also am running the lights straight to the ground. I don't want one of those big fancy bases.

 

By the way first post here! 

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Well i want to use pvc pipe since i'm tight on money for this years display. For my 15' mega tree i made out of pvc pipe, i put 12 i-hooks around the top and was thinking of doing the same thing for the 10 footers.What do you think of the idea of something like use 2 steel poles in the ground, on either side of the 1 1/2" pipe, bolt them to the pvc and then of course use guide wires from the top. Maybe for the steel poles use electrical conduit or something like that. And for that vynyl line do you just tie it or do you use some sort of clamps?

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I use 1 1/2" and 2" PVC pipes for my 10' trees. I simply drive a 1x1 piece of wood, generally ~12-16" long, halfway into the ground, and sit the pole on top of it. I then guy wire from the top with 60-100lb test monofilimant fishing line to large plastic stakes. 

 

I use 1 1/4" black iron pipe for my 15 & 20' trees, with a similar method of driving a smaller rod inth the ground, but with the weight associated with the larger trees, I also put a piece of 2x4 under the pole to prevent it from sinking into the ground. The smaller rod goes through the 2x4, but the pole does not. I do not find this necessary on my 10' trees (Which have 800-4,000 lights on them, depending on their location.)

 

Advantage of the 2" PVC: You can buy a 2" to 4" reducer coupling for the top, which makes a great topper to sit a lighted ball on top of, and drill hooks into the perimeter of the top to attach lights too. 

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Welcome aboard. I know you want simple, but consider this for the long run:

 

You should check out the info Walter Monkhouse has in his ColorMotion RGB Tree How-To. Even if you do not go RGB he has an excellent document telling you how to secure a base ring to the ground. He also has a great How-To for a Portable Hole, and JUMP Pole, (Jack Up Mega Pole) I would recommend bending EMT instead of PVC as it is more rigid. PVC will bend and warp with upward pull. I have a EMT Bending How-To on my website.

 

Here is the link to Walter's ColorMotion Tree:

 

http://www.magicchristmasnews.org/building_a_colormotions_tree_sm.pdf

Edited by zman

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Well my main problem now is attaching it to the ground, i will be fine with 1 1/2" PVC, and here is the plan so far:

 

Take 1 1/4" Electrical conduit, hammer it in the ground at least 2 feet, let it stick out of the ground at least 3 feet in to the PVC pipe, slide a couple pins through it to keep it from moving, then from the top use 3 tether wires, and for the circle at the bottom i was going to bend 1/2" pvc and center it around the pole.

 

This seems fairly easy setup and take down. Once the pole is up i will just use a ladder to hook the lights up, i will have 20 strands of lights coming down on it so it should look really good.

Edited by mwalz

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Go to HD or Loews and get a metal fence post there about 4-5' long they also have a spade attached on the bottom .........Pound the metal post into the ground untill the spade is far enough in the dirt and can't be seen. then just slip you pvc pipe over it and WA" LA".... instant support for your 10' pole.....Using this method you don't even need guy wires.

I've used this on my 12' Spiral tree for 3years now without a hitch.

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No guy wires and you're looking for a problem - just in case wind storm come in.  PVC is not really all that strong

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well my 15' mega tree made of pvc did fine last year with 60 mph+ winds, these aren't rally that tall so it shouldn't be too much of a problem, i know what all you guys are saying but i simply just dont have a ot of money to spend since im only 16, and i dont have a full time job either, all my work i do is seasonal so for no im working with the money i got

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No guy wires and you're looking for a problem - just in case wind storm come in.  PVC is not really all that strong

I agree with you that PVC is not as strong as Blackpipe but I think your under estimating the gripping power of the fence post I'm talking about My spiral tree is 15' with a 18" star on top and we also have had 60mph wind gusts  and it held up beautifully. The OP stated he was going up 10' and with the tree.  If the metal post is put in properly it will be up approx 4' so thats almost half the distance of his entire height and with 2" PVC as his center pole and the lights going to the ground the light strings provide some small support also. If he was going higher I never would have said no guy wires needed. In fact my mega tree is almost 25' tall and with 2" black pipe and buried in a 3' Hole I still use 4 guy wires. But my spiral tree has been up 3 years doing it that way.

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Have you considered 1 4ft piece of rebar drive it in the ground and put your PVC over it. after all really what your trying to do is insure your base doesn't move. my tree last year was this way but i did use guy wires just to be safe.

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Yea that is basically what I'm going to do, except I'm going to use electrical conduit that fits snug in the pipe to help, and of course use guy wires.

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I do the same as "gmac" . I have four trees here in MA. and have no problems.

 

My top pieces are the inverted toilet bowl flang with wall board hooks and my bottom is 1/2" sprinkler pipe.

 

If you send me your email by PM I'll send ya a pic.

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Yea that is basically what I'm going to do, except I'm going to use electrical conduit that fits snug in the pipe to help, and of course use guy wires.

Apparently you haven't checked out the fence post at HD  their only approx. $5.00-6.00 ea  You'll have 4x more invested in the conduit, guy wires, stakes etc.

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Well fence post i my area is about $15, plus 6 dog stakes would be another $30, plus other stuff. I went and got everything tonight, and for both tree's it only costs $65. I will either be using tent stakes or rebar for the stakes to the ground. Hopefully i will post some pics Sunday night after setting them up with lights this weekend.

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Also should i paint the poles black or dark green? Or leave them white. On i am leaving white because the light cord that is going to be on it is white I like to have things match. But should i paint the one black? I will have 20 strands of lights coming off of it

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My approach is about the same as others.  It really depends on how permanent you want the thing to be.  My mast is 2" PVC.  I dug down in the ground 2 ft, put a 2 ft piece of PVC in the ground and poured cement around it.  when it was set up I glued the female end of a threaded coupler to it and the male end to the 10 ft mast.  When it's not in use I just screw a cap on it and cover it for the summer.  When I  need it I just uncover it, unscrew the cap and screw the mast in. Has worked well for 3 year/  I have four guy wires to hold it in place and I have had no problems in the Oklahoma wind, which can gust to 50 miles per hour.  A mega tree is a major commitment though.  Be prepared for lots of work your first year.

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