Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog


Build a better Christmas tree-stand...

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...and the world will beat a path to your door! 

Okay - it's really "mouse-trap"... but today our family is going out to get a natural Christmas tree, and after searching for our old one we realized (and remembered) that last year our tree stand broke.  So this year we have to buy a new one. 

As I was putting up some lights outside our house (and as kids were decorating Christmas cookies inside), it got me to thinking... if someone were to ask me what I wanted in a tree stand, I would have to say, "A lot!". 

I think the perfect stand could simply be placed on the bottom end of the tree, and it would automatically make a thin fresh cut, and latch itself into place.  When you stood the tree on end, little sensors and gyros would send commands to the stand's CPU informing the processor of places currently out of balance, and the processor would send commands to mini servo motors driving hydrolic-powered lifts to re-align the tree.  A triangulating lasor would be able to align the trunk as upright as possible, while coordinating with the other processes to find a happy medium in case the tree is somewhat naturally lopsided. 

Once positioned the tree would be automatically fed nutrients, and water that is distilled right out of the surrounding air. 

And that's just standard model, of course.  The deluxe model would also have a plug for special lighting that would then be driven by the CPU for a lighting display of your choice... all the while slowly spinning your now "wireless" tree to the time of the music.  Oh.. the music would of course be uploaded via the WiFi connection to your home network, or for a monthly charge you could add the XM Radio adapter.

Okay... I've designed it.  Which of you will be brave enough to build it so we can make millions?!  <chuckle>

Happy Holidays!


  • I've struggled with tree stands many times.

    Last year I bought a new one and I am actualy happy with it.

    "A lot" is important, a lot of weight. It is essintially a big steel bucket welded onto a big steel plate.
    I bought the tree into the house and stuck it in the bucket and it didn't fall over. Getting it to stand up straight came later.
    The big steel bucket also serves as the water reservoir and holds enough water for a couple of weeks.

    Attaching one of these to a Segway might help you with you first prototype.

  • Related to Andrews idea... it’s a shame that most homes do not have a faucet near the tree... it would be perfect... plug in your base to the power outlet... and to the faucet and turn it on... let the CPU watch the water level in base and fill only when necessary.

    I would think that in a house where they heat is kept high and the humidity low (most homes north of the Mason-Dixon Line for instance), that there would be a serious level of evaporation from the base... such a computer controlled release may offer a savings in water if such evaporation could be limited by limiting the amount of exposed moisture.

    Although I’m sure that the cost savings would be trivial compared to the cost of such a base... still...

  • What the hell...

    You want a christmas tree stand to be controlled by a cpu? This is the epitomy of the american public. Put something there and then forget about it. Laziness at its worst. Is it such a bother to take that 3 minutes out of your day to check to see if the tree has enough water? To see if it's balanced correctly? Can you do anything yourself without litte gyros and processors dictating everything for you? I came on this board to see if anyone could tell me how to make my own stand, and this is the smut I read instead. Sad sad days.

  • Loved that "What the hell..." comment!

    Yes.. If what I've said truly represents "the epitomy of the american public", then so be it!

    I imagine your ancestors were standing in the back of the cave shouting, "What's so hot about fire? Cold meat and freezing to death not good enough for you?! Sad sad days..."

    Seriously - it was just a humorous, wistful wish on my part. I don't seriously expect to see the self-righting Christmas Tree stand in my lifetime. (I'll leave that one for one of my kids to solve.)