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December 14, 2010 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Oh Christmas Tree - Our tree is too big for our stand, yet we love it. What's the best to keep it watered using cheap engineering tactics?

I think it is possible to use fish tubing with a small bowl to keep the tree watered, but am not a scientist. Space to deliver water into the stand (with tree) is ca. 3mm. The base holds at best 2dl water without tree, so figure .5dl with tree.

It's a fresh cut scandinavian tree and needs constant supply or it won't make it to jul (xmas).

Any ideas greatly appreciately. Cutting the stem to feed more water into the base is ok, but still need to find a way for constant watering.
posted by Funmonkey1 to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
 
build a siphon
put a source of water next to the stand base and then put a siphon tube from the source into the base. The siphon tube is just a tube holding water without air gaps, nothing fancy. The water levels will balance out.
posted by caddis at 2:45 PM on December 14, 2010


Seconding a siphon.
posted by zsazsa at 2:49 PM on December 14, 2010


Perhaps you could drill a hole into the stem at a downward angle, then plug in some fish tubing that fits snuggly in the hole. Then drill a hole and use a hot clue gun to attach the other end of the hose into the cap of a small drinking water bottle that you could strap upside down to the tree, up in the needles where its out of sight.

Sort of like an IV drip for your tree. The water should get absorbed slowly enough that you would only need to refill the bottle ever couple of days, provided there isnt any leakage.

Thats just my guess anyway, best of luck!
posted by sarastro at 2:49 PM on December 14, 2010


I have drilled a hole, installed a plug, and a hook, in the ceiling of our living room. This arrangement must be made sturdily, but it is totally possible.
The tree is hung on a piece of thin piano wire (or similar) that's wrapped around the stem and a few branches, which leaves it dangling about 2 cm above the floor. It rests in a large bowl, which is equipped with a few bricks to keep the tree from turning, and otherwise filled with water: No stand, lots of water.
posted by Namlit at 3:35 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


When spending Xmas in Paris last year, we bought a small, very old-fashioned urban tree, similar to what you have there. It was mounted in a log. What you have there is not a tree stand, it is a log. A lovely log, but a log nevertheless. A tree moves more water through it's first layers under the bark. If that ring is not wicking water fully and effectively, I suggest you keep a dustpan handy. Alternatively, get a real tree stand — I love the hanging tree idea. (I just had to run out to buy a ugly plastic, yet effective tree stand on Saturday when we came home with a tree that would not fit our very groovy stand from the early 60's. Only you can choose what is more important here. That plastic stand? The only time I notice it is when I fill it with the copious amounts of water that tree is sucking down — er, up.)
posted by Dick Paris at 3:53 PM on December 14, 2010


You can build a less trouble-prone siphon (losing prime, for example) by just using some yarn or string or even just a strip of cloth from a rag rather than a tube. Find some way to hang a cup or glass up in the tree close to the trunk and dangle the rag into the basin, keeping the other end immersed in the water in the glass.
posted by phearlez at 4:39 PM on December 14, 2010


Perhaps you could drill a hole into the stem at a downward angle, then plug in some fish tubing that fits snuggly in the hole. Then drill a hole and use a hot clue gun to attach the other end of the hose into the cap of a small drinking water bottle that you could strap upside down to the tree, up in the needles where its out of sight.

If I'm imagining this corretly, this won't work. Trees only move water in the layer directly under the bark. Drilling a hole and putting water into the middle of the trunk will not get your tree any water. All that stuff in the middle is structural, it doesn't transport anything. The tree needs to sit in a basin with water in it.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:39 AM on December 15, 2010


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