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Adjustable tree limb support

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Title: Adjustable tree limb support.
Abstract: An adjustable ground-engaging tree limb support having rustproof lightening-resistant components. A telescopically adjustable fiberglass main tube and hex shaft has a bottom pointed plastic stake having a series of vertical fins to prevent twisting. A plastic curved U-shape limb support is attached to the top of the hex shaft. A collar on the main tube having a spring loaded lever for actuating a pin that seats into one of a plurality of apertures in the hex shaft sets the desired height of the limb support. ...


- Newport Beach, CA, US
Inventors: Donald G. Carlson, Paul W. Hilton
USPTO Applicaton #: #20070007406 - Class: 248200100 (USPTO) - 01/11/07 - Class 248 


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Related Patent Categories: Supports, Brackets, On Extensible Column Mounted Between Opposed Surfaces
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20070007406, Adjustable tree limb support.

Lightening   

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to tree supports, and particularly to an adjustable ground-engaging tree limb support, which comprises rustproof lightening and electrocution-resistant components including; a telescopically adjustable fiberglass main tube and aluminum hex shaft, a plastic stake having a vertical fin at the bottom to prevent twisting, a plastic curved U-shape limb support attached to the top of the hex shaft, a collar on the main tube having a spring loaded lever for actuating a pin that seats into one of a plurality of apertures in the hex shaft for setting the desired height of the device and a hole in the arched limb support to allow it to be secured to the tree limb by means of a zip tie or security cable.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] A major concern of arborists and orchard growers is proper structural tree training. It is important that tree branches as well as limbs and branches be supported and trained properly early during their growth to insure healthy and proper continued growth, and also when the limbs of a tree are heavily fruit laden. A common technique which has been and is still used to support limbs or branches is to use a pole having a U-shaped limb support on one end, such as seen in U.S. Pat. No. 1,854,627 issued to Schweikert and U.S. Pat. No. 1,081,170 issued to Thompson. Further adaptations provided tree props having simple extensible poles as illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 445,151 issued to Andrews and U.S. Pat. No. 358,017 issued to Cole.

[0005] None of the prior art patents provide the versatility of an adjustable mass produced plastic tree limb support with a ground penetration limiter and a curved limb support of a plastic that does not tend to scar the tree limbs as well as a non-conductive shaft to prevent lightning strikes and accidental electrocution due to contact with electrical wires.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 4,377,053, issued Mar. 22, 1983 to Roark, provides a telescoping prop particularly adapted for support or spreading of tree branches. Two elongated tubes have respective diameters such that one tube can nest inside the other tube. The two tubes are long enough that when the inner tube is extended from its nested position, the overall length of the two tubes is in a range suitable for supporting or spreading tree branches. The interior surface of the outer tube has thereon a first plurality of raised portions which mate with a second plurality of raised portions on the exterior surface of the inner tube such that when the two tubes are in one rotational relationship, relative longitudinal movement of the two tubes is permitted, while when the two tubes are in another rotational relationship, relative longitudinal movement of the two tubes which would tend to shorten the prop is prevented.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. D489,588, issued May 11, 2004 to Hall, shows the ornamental design of an adjustable tree limb support.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 999,908, issued Aug. 8, 1911 to Tatro, describes an extension tree prop comprising a slidably adjustable two-part body, the upper portion thereof having a limb seat at its distal end, the lower portion thereof being ground-engaging. The upper and lower portions are slidably engage one another and are adjusted to a desired height with the limb seat placed under a limb and then secured by in place by cam lever-collar devices which encircle the shafts of both the upper and lower portions.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 1,227,105, issued May 22, 1917 to Barnes, discloses a telescopically adjustable supporting device whose primary use is to temporarily hold molds needed for forming the beam-portions of reinforced concrete floors or roofs during construction.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 2,867,056 issued Jan. 6, 1959 to Berger, indicates a tree branch prop comprising a shaft having two telescopic portions with an internal compression spring therebetween for creating a yieldable support for a fruit laden branch, a ground-engaging base attached to the lower telescopic portion, a head attached to the upper telescopic portion for detachably clamping a branch. A pin is provided for insertion through apertures located in the upper telescopic portion to provide an abutment for the compression spring.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 2,296,217, issued Sep. 15, 1942 to Maloney, puts forth a Christmas tree anchor that comprises a telescopically adjustable stake having a U-shaped tree trunk-engaging shackle at the upper end thereof. Two auxiliary straps are attached to the U-shaped shackle for further support for the tree.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 6,299,125, issued Oct. 9, 2001 to Zayeratabat, claims a tree support apparatus. A telescopic structure is provided for supporting immature plants and small trees to assure straight and healthy stem and trunk growth until the stem and/or trunk reaches a growth phase where it is self-supporting. Several embodiments of two part stakes are discussed including detachable upper and lower portion stakes and telescoping upper and lower portion stakes. Plant feeding features in the stakes are described and structure for providing cooperating stake pairs with novel interconnecting straps and stem/trunk engaging apparatus is disclosed. Stabilizing structure for the stakes is also disclosed, so that stem trunk support is strong enough to accomplish the intended purpose.

[0013] What is needed is an adjustable ground-engaging tree limb support, which comprises rustproof lightening-resistant components including; a telescopically adjustable fiberglass main tube and aluminum hex shaft, a plastic stake having a vertical fin at the bottom to prevent twisting and ground penetration, a plastic curved U-shape limb support attached to the top of the hex shaft, and a collar on the main tube having a spring loaded lever for actuating a pin that seats into one of a plurality of apertures in the hex shaft for setting the desired height of the device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] An object of the present invention is to provide an adjustable ground-engaging tree limb support, which comprises rustproof lightening and electrical shock-resistant components including; a telescopically adjustable fiberglass main tube and aluminum hex shaft, a plastic stake having a vertical fin at the bottom to prevent twisting and ground penetration, a plastic curved U-shape limb support attached to the top of the hex shaft, a collar on the main tube having a spring loaded lever for actuating a pin that seats into one of a plurality of apertures in the hex shaft for setting the desired height of the device and a hole in the arched limb support to allow it to be secured to the tree limb by means of a zip tie or security cable.

[0015] In brief, an adjustable tree limb support has a fiberglass main tube to eliminate any electrical continuity issues so that when used in orchards the present invention does not conduct electricity so it does not act as a lightning rod as all metal tree supports do. The aluminum internal hex shaped shaft adjusts from approximately 3.5' in height to 7' in height with approximate I'' increments. Key safety features include a special plastic stake design with a spiked end for non-slippage and a splayed foot to prevent sinking into the ground when irrigating the trees at the root line and has curved plastic "U-shaped" limb supports at the top designed to minimize any bark scaring or tree damage when holding the limb at the supported height.

[0016] An easy to operate adjustment mechanism allows for approx. I'' adjustments in limb height. One thumb holds the adjustment lever depressed while the other hands pushes the hex shaft to the height that allows for proper limb support, then simply release the adjustment lever and the lever will find the closest hole and lock into place at the appropriate height.

[0017] All parts are made out of materials that will not rust (plastic limb cradle, aluminum adjustment shaft, plastic spring loaded adjustment lever with brass axle and stainless pin and spring, fiberglass main tube, plastic "sink-resistant bottom positioning stake).

[0018] An advantage of the present invention is that it is an adjustable limb support that is very easy to use, install, remove, and adjust.

[0019] Another advantage of the present invention is that it is inexpensive to manufacture in mass production.

[0020] An additional advantage of the present invention is that it is safe.

[0021] One more advantage of the present invention is that it is rust free and durable for longevity.

[0022] Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it is reusable for many years of service.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

[0024] FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the adjustable ground-engaging tree limb support of the present invention;

[0025] FIG. 2 is an exploded partial sectional view of the components of the present invention of FIG. 1 aligned for assembly;

[0026] FIG. 3A is a side elevational view of the upwardly arched U-shaped limb cradle of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 3B is an end cross-sectional view of the upwardly arched U-shaped limb cradle of the present invention taken through the transverse centerline;

[0028] FIG. 3C is a bottom plan view of the upwardly arched U-shaped limb cradle of the present invention;

[0029] FIG. 4 is a side cross-sectional view of the collar of the present invention showing the pivotable handle and spring;

[0030] FIG. 5A is a side elevational view of the bottom stake of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 5B is a bottom plan view-of the bottom stake of the present invention.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0032] In FIGS. 1-5, an adjustable ground-engaging tree limb support comprises a telescopically adjustable fiberglass main tube 30 and aluminum hex shaft 28 within the main tube, a plastic stake 31 attached to a bottom end of the main tube, the plastic stake comprising a rounded point at a bottom 35 of the plastic stake for piercing a ground surface, a series of peripheral vertical fins 32 around the plastic stake to prevent twisting, a horizontal plate 34 around the plastic stake above the rounded point to limit depth of insertion of the plastic stake in a ground surface and stabilize the limb support, an upwardly arched curved U-shape limb cradle 21 attached to a top of the hex shaft, and a collar 26 on the main tube having a spring loaded lever 19 for actuating a pin 11 that seats into one of a plurality of apertures 29 in the hex shaft 28 for setting the desired height of the tree limb support.

[0033] The curved U-shape limb cradle 21 is provided with a central opening 23 in the upwardly arching limb contacting portion 22 as a security and stabilization feature and a hole 10 in the arched limb support to allow it to be secured to the tree limb by means of a zip tie or security cable.

[0034] All parts are made from materials that will not rust and will not conduct lightning including a plastic limb cradle 21, an aluminum adjustment shaft 26, a plastic spring loaded adjustment lever 19 with brass axle 18 and stainless pin and spring 17, a fiberglass main tube 30, and a plastic bottom stake 31.

[0035] The upwardly arched curved U-shaped limb support 21 is fabricated of a plastic material in a smooth curved shape to minimize any bark scaling or tree damage when holding a limb at a supported height.

[0036] In use, the stake 31 is inserted into the ground directly below the point on the tree limb to be supported. The present invention has an easy to operate adjustment mechanism that allows for approximately 1'' adjustments in limb height to slide up the hex shaft 28 within the main shaft 30 until the cradle 21 touches and supports the tree limb. The tree limb may be lifted, slightly to insure that it will rest firmly on the limb support 20. One thumb holds the adjustment lever 19 depressed while the other hand pushes the hex shaft 28 to the height that allows for proper limb support, then simply release the adjustment lever 19 and the lever pin 11 will find the closest hole 29 in the hex shaft 28 and lock into place.

[0037] The aluminum internal hex shaped shaft 28 telescoping within the fiberglass oter shaft 30 adjusts from approximately 3.5' in height to 7' in height with approximately 1'' increments.

[0038] It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20070007406 A1
Publish Date
01/11/2007
Document #
11178053
File Date
07/08/2005
USPTO Class
248200100
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04G25/00
Drawings
3


Lightening


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