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Thread: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    So before I pour the concrete for my 2 10' mega trees, now using 1 1/2" metal pipe, to allow for future upgrades, how deep and wide should I dig my holes? I know this can vary depending on your local weather and soil conditions. Can someone throw out a rough estimate for me.
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    From what little I know about this type of thing, it isn't so much the size of the hole but whether you have stable soil and whether you can get the aggregate "tamped" properly. I usually use a 6 to 12" auger and put it a couple/3 feet into the ground which could be called overkill. If you do it my way you can tie elephants to it--just in case you get Christmas elephants. A 6" hole usually is tight and a 12" hole is a lot of wasted concrete.

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Al, Can I pound a threaded metal pipe in the ground (put 6" of concrete around it) with a coupling on the end of it, then just screw my 10' section to that?
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Vic,

    In my opinion the threaded coupling will be the weakest link of your tree. The metal pipe is thinner after threading. I use an internal solid steel bar to connect the three pieces of 1 1/4 pipe that make up my megatree mast.

    As far as the hole, you don't need much. Gravity provides the downward force. Proper guying is more important in my opinion, stopping (eliminating) the side forces that cause trees to break. Have your guy wires tight and securely in the ground. Don't use a (real) tree to connect your guy wires to. The tree will "move or vibrate" when the wind blows, constantly changing the tension on the guy wires.

    You remember the pictures or videos of William's four huge megatrees? No holes, no concrete bases, just 6 inch spikes on the megatree base. And he gets huge winds up there where he lives. He did have a guy wire snap one year, and a tree fell over, but no real damage.

    Just my opinions.
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    John,

    Sounds too simple, but makes sense. Some rebar, cable and strong stakes. Easy as pie.
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    I wouldn't pound in the pipe Vic. It will mess up the threads. John's way is good. If you can limp through this year we are going to build "megatree knuckles" next year in the TASL welding workshops.

    John is correct about the side forces. IF you keep the guys properly taut the forces on the ground are small. However erecting and tearing down the forces will be HUGE. I saw a subharmonic in my megatree 2 years ago that was immense. I had a mechanical/structural engineer (actually a gaggle of engineers) standing and watching the subharmonic caused by high winds. We found it fascinating. It doesn't take much to fascinate us I guess. Anyway, that subharmonic was pulling and pushing on the base of the pipe. There can be immense forces on the base under the right conditions (i.e. ice or ice and wind). Now can it cause problems, yes if the rare conditions occur. My answer to getting rid of the subharmonic was another guy wire set 1/2 the distance of the pole. I don't find that acceptable as the wires are a mess. But, my base is very secure. I am building a knuckle to reinforce the base and make it easy and SAFE to erect the pole.

    Ok that was long winded.
    Al

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Thanks Al,

    I'm feeling more confident than ever. These are going to be awesome.
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    I had my megatree base w/folding knuckle, round steel inside pipe joiners, etc with me in Charlotte this year, Several people had asked me to bring it for them to see and learn how I can now erect a 20 plus foot steel megatree by myself using the trees own winch to pull itself upright.
    John (The Mascot)
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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Sorry John, I must have missed that.

    I sure as hell hope I can hoist that bun foot up with a pully and rope. I have a "come-a-long" wench if need be. I think i'm good to go guys...

    Thanks,
    Vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Quote Originally Posted by victory402 View Post
    Sorry John, I must have missed that.


    I didn't do a presentation with it, just brought it so that several other people who wanted to see how it was made. I did have my 8 channel megatree star mounted on the core components of the megatree. Just left the wench at home and only used a 3 foot section of pipe instead of 20 foot section.

    I had "lots of stuff" over in my corner that various people had requested I bring for a "private" showing lol

    That's why I needed Dave as my "roadie" to help this old man get it all in and out of the convention center.
    John (The Mascot)
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    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    ...I can now erect a 20 plus foot steel megatree by myself using the trees own winch to pull itself upright.
    Oh, I remember that thread.

    Vic, without the knuckle a tall step ladder and a helper is mandatory. The weight of the pole will surprise you. A person will need to be on the ground to thread the pole into the fitting. The person on the ladder must support the pole until all guys are taut.

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    I'm thinking with only 10' poles this year and a 10' step ladder I should be able to manage. I will be attending the knuckle work shop for sure. The thought of erecting a 20' tree without asking for help will make setup and tear down easier.
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Watch cross threading those threads on the pipe Vic.

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    I'm leaning more towards a sleeve instead to just drop them in or a rod to set them on. What John said about the threads being a weak point makes sense. The guy wires are what I'm focusing on now, they seem to be key here.
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    Default Re: Pouring concrete pads for mega trees

    Vic,

    I highly recommend a sleeve.

    I use a length of 2" pipe for my sleeve.

    The base plate under my knuckle has a 1 1/2" pipe to slip inside the 2" ground sleeve.

    Then my knuckle is made to accept the 1 1/4 pipe for the megatree pole. The steel round INSIDE coupling rod is also shown in the picture.

    I use an irriagation box to cover the sleeve when not in use. About $5 in plumbing section.


    -p3310071.jpg-p3310072.jpg-valvebox1.jpg
    John (The Mascot)
    www.tennholidays.com

    480 LOR Channels + 2 CCR + 8 Mighty Minis + 10 Rainbow Floods+ 1 vdrive and vflood, Lynx Express and over 40,000 LEDs

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