FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
n/a views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Plant shelter

* PDF temporarily unavailable. Check back later for PDF.
Note: For the newest patent filings there may be a short delay until the PDF is available. Patent images should be available for most patents within 1 day of publication (further down this page).

Title: Plant shelter.
Abstract: A winter protective shelter for a plant includes a frame and a cover. The frame includes a plurality of legs adjustably positioned around a plant. The legs are coupled to provide a support structure around at least a portion of the plant. The cover is adapted to be at least partially supported by the frame in order to establish a shelter providing a barrier between at least a portion of the top and a side of the plant and an exterior of the shelter. The winter protective shelter may uniquely protect valuable plants and shrubs from destruction, breakage, and dehydration caused by temperature extremes and winter precipitation. ...


- Manchester, NH, US
Inventors: Karen L. Sylvestre, Cathleen J. Adams, Ann L. Rohrborn
USPTO Applicaton #: #20060185708 - Class: 135135000 (USPTO) - 08/24/06 - Class 135 


view organizer monitor keywords

Related Patent Categories: Tent, Canopy, Umbrella, Or Cane, Portable Shelter (i.e., Tent Or Canopy), Framework, Arch-shaped Or Dome Type, Collapsible, Having Central Hub
The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20060185708, Plant shelter.

Dehydration   



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/644,835, filed on Jan. 18, 2005, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FILED

[0002] The present disclosure is directed at a system for protecting plants, especially for protecting plants from environmental damage.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Protecting plants, such as flowers, shrubs, bushes, etc., from harsh and potentially damaging weather conditions has long been a great concern. The interest in protecting plants from weather damage is especially pertinent given the high cost in both time and money required to nurse damaged plants back to good health or to replace the damaged plants with new ones. Many products have, therefore, been developed that are directed at protecting plants from frost damage.

[0004] To date, however, the majority of products directed at protecting plants from weather damage have generally been concerned with protecting new plant growth from damaging temperature fluctuations, e.g., frost. A late spring frost can severely damage, if not destroy, delicate new growth such as young plants, new buds, etc. The danger of weather damage is especially prevalent in more northern geographical areas that or often subject broad temperature fluctuations in the mid to late spring. Considering these concerns, the majority of products directed at protecting plants from weather damage involve various means for insulating plants against cold weather. Often products for protecting plants may resemble blankets and insulating sheets or batts that can be placed over plants at night to prevent or minimize overnight frost damage.

[0005] While insulating materials may be suitable for protecting young plant growth from late spring frost damage, such designs do little to protect plants through an entire winter. Through out the course of a winter plants may suffer a variety potentially damaging conditions. The freezing and crushing effects of snow, sleet, and ice may result in serious damage to plants, even more mature growth. Similarly, harsh winter winds may dehydrate plants, as well as causing physical damage such as breakage. Additionally, during the winter months animals may cause a great deal of damage to plants, whether through eating the plants, or by seeking shelter in the plants. The need for protecting plants against the various damaging effects of winter has largely gone unfulfilled.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Features and advantages of the disclosed subject matter are set for by the description of embodiments consistent therewith, which description should be considered along with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of frame for a shelter consistent with the present disclosure;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a detailed view of an embodiment of a bottom end of a frame member consistent with the present disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a cover that may be used with a frame according to the present disclosure;

[0010] FIG. 4 is a detailed view of an embodiment of a cinch configuration that may be used with a cover according to the present disclosure;

[0011] FIG. 5 illustrates a plant shelter consistent with the present disclosure in a stowed configuration;

[0012] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a frame for a shelter consistent with the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 7 representationally depicts a possible alternative configuration of the frame illustrated in FIG. 6;

[0014] FIG. 8 representationally depicts another possible alternative configuration of the frame illustrated in FIG. 6;

[0015] FIG. 9 is a detailed view of an embodiment of a connector that may be employed for assembling a frame consistent with the present disclosure;

[0016] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a cover for a plant protector consistent with the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another frame for a shelter consistent with the present disclosure;

[0018] FIG. 12 is a detailed view of an embodiment of a portion of a frame member that may be used in a shelter consistent with the present disclosure;

[0019] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a cover and an attachment that may be used with a cover consistent with the present disclosure;

[0020] FIG. 14 is a detailed view of a C-clamp that may be used for retaining a cover to a frame consistent with the present disclosure; and

[0021] FIG. 15 shows an embodiment of a cinch strap configuration that may be employed for fitting a cover to a frame of shelter consistent with the present disclosure.

DESCRIPTION

[0022] As a general overview, the present disclosure is directed at a shelter that may protect plants, shrubs, perimeter plants, and the like against harsh and/or damaging effects of winter temperatures and weather, such as hard precipitation. For example, a shelter consistent with the present disclosure may protect a plant from the crushing effect of snow, whether falling, blown accumulated, etc. Similarly a shelter herein may reduce and/or eliminate damage, such as freezing, dehydration, breakage, etc., caused by contact with snow, ice, freezing rain, wind, etc. Similarly, a shelter herein may also limit animal access to plants, thereby preventing animals from eating the plants and/or bedding down in the plants. According to some embodiments consistent with the present disclosure, the shelter may provide a rigid frame that may structurally resist damage from accumulated, falling, and/or blown snow, ice, freezing rain, wind, etc. Additionally, a shelter consistent with the present disclosure may include a cover that may be at least partially supported by the frame. The cover may reduce and/or eliminate crushing damage caused by falling, accumulating, and/or blown snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, etc. The cover may also reduce and/or prevent direct and/or excessive and/or extensive contact between at least a portion of a plant and snow, ice, sleet, etc. that may fall, accumulate, and/or be blown onto the shelter. Furthermore, the cover may reduce and/or prevent the occurrence of dehydration of plants protected by the shelter.

[0023] Turning to FIG. 1, an embodiment of a frame 10 that may suitably be used in a shelter consistent with the present disclosure is shown. As depicted, the frame 10 may be adapted to be positioned around and/or over a plant, shrub, bush, etc. (hereinafter generically referred to as a plant). The frame 10 may be configured to be adaptable in terms of size and/or geometry. The adaptability of the frame 10 may allow the shelter to be used to protect different sizes of plants, and may allow the shelter to fit within various different space limitations. Furthermore, the frame 10 may be collapsible, facilitating storage when it is not in use.

[0024] As illustrated, the frame 10 may include a plurality of legs 12-18. Each pair of adjacent legs 12-18 are connected by an associated connecting structure. For the sake of clarity and ease of description, only the connecting structure 20 connecting adjacent legs 12, 14 is discussed and referenced in detail. The remaining connecting structures may have a generally analogous structure. Consistent with the illustrated embodiment, the connecting structure 20 may generally include two members 22, 24. One end of first member 22 may be pivotally coupled to a collar 26 that is slidably disposed on the leg 12. The opposite end of the first member 22 may be pivotally coupled to a top cap 28 disposed at, or adjacent to, one end of the adjacent leg 14. Similarly, the second member 24 may be pivotally coupled to a cap 30 disposed at, or adjacent to, one end of the leg 12. The opposite end of the second member 24 may be pivotally coupled to a collar 32 slidably disposed on the adjacent leg 14. Each of the members 22, 24 may be directly pivotally coupled to the respective collars 26, 32 and/or caps 28, 30, e.g., using an integral hinge. According to an alternative embodiment, each of the members 22, 24 may be indirectly pivotally coupled to the respective collars 26, 32 and/or caps 28, 30, e.g., through another component. While the illustrated frame includes four legs and four sets of connecting structures, a greater or lesser number of legs and associated connecting structures may be employed consistent with the present disclosure.

[0025] The two members 22, 24 may be pivotally coupled to one another, e.g., by a pivot pin 34, generally in the middle of each member 22, 24. The pivotal coupling of the members 22, 24 may create a scissor hinge arrangement. The scissor hinge arrangement along with the pivotal attachment of the members 22, 24 to the respective collars 26, 32 and caps 28, 30 may facilitate expansion and/or contraction of the frame 10. For example, if the adjacent legs 12, 14 are moved closer to one another, the members 22, 24 can pivot about the pivot pin 34 causing the respective collars 26, 32 to slide down the legs 12, 14 thereby decreasing the separation between the legs.

[0026] In the illustrated embodiment adjacent connecting structures are coupled to a single common sliding collar on each leg. According to an alternative embodiment, each connecting structure may be independently slidably coupled to each leg, e.g., with the members of the connecting structures riding in a groove or track in the leg. According to such an embodiment, the length and the width of the frame may be adjusted independently of one another. For example, if the width of the frame is deceased by bringing adjacent legs at opposite ends of the frame together, the members on either end of the frame may scissor and slide along the respective legs to decrease the width without also causing the connecting structures along the width to scissor and slide along the legs, which would cause a decrease in the length.

[0027] The frame 10 may also include roof members 36, 38. As in the illustrated embodiment, the roof members 36, 38 may extend diagonally across the frame 10. According to such an arrangement the roof member 36 may extend between diagonally opposed legs 12 and 16. Similarly, the roof member 38 may extend between diagonally opposed legs 14 and 18. According to such a structure the roof members 36, 38 may form a somewhat domed geometry. Alternatively, the roof members may extend between adjacent legs, thereby providing a generally arched configuration.

[0028] The roof members 36, 38 may be coupled generally in the mid portion of each member 36, 38 by a peak plate 40 that may generally constrain the relative orientation of the members 36, 38. The roof member 36, 38 may be flexible and/or resiliently flexible members, thereby facilitating the collapse and expansion of the frame 10. As the frame 10 is collapsed to bring the legs 12-18 closer to one another the roof members 36, 38 may bend upwardly creating a higher dome. Conversely, when the frame 10 is expanded to place the legs 12-18 farther apart, the roof members may assume a shallower dome configuration. The dome configuration of the roof members 36, 38 may, however, prevent the members 36, 38 from buckling inwardly.

[0029] According to an alternative embodiment, each end of the roof member may be pivotally attached to the respective legs and may be pivotally attached at the peak plate. Accordingly, rather than bending to achieve a higher or lower dome configuration, the roof members may simply pivot at each leg and at the peak cap. According to either configuration, the roof members may, in some embodiments, be completely removable from the legs to facilitate storage of the frame. Storage may also be facilitated by removing the peak plate, and/or pivotally coupling the roof members relative to the peak plate, thereby allowing the roof members to achieve a generally parallel configuration for storage.

[0030] Each of the legs 12-18 may include a spike, such as the spike 42 of the leg 12. The spike 40 may facilitate anchoring the frame 10 into the ground. The spike 40 may be especially useful if the ground is at least partially frozen, and thereby resistant to having anything driven therein. The frame 10 may be further secured in place, for example using guy lines that may be secured to additional stakes or other structures or features that will help secure the shelter in position. With additional reference to FIG. 2, a spike 42a may be provided as a separate component that may be fitted onto the end of a leg 12a. As one aspect of such a configuration, the spike 42a may be inserted in a desired position and the frame may subsequently be erected and coupled to the spike 42. As shown, the spike 42a may include a recess 44 configured to at least partially receive a portion of the leg 12a.

[0031] Consistent with another aspect illustrated in FIG. 2, each leg 12a may be provided as a telescoping member. As such, the leg 12a may include an outer leg portion 46 and an inner leg portion 48 slidably disposed relative the outer leg portion 46. A telescoping leg 12a as shown may be adjustable for length, thereby increasing the height and/or size of a plant that may be accommodated within and/or under the shelter. A locking member 50 may be provided for securing the telescoping leg 12a at a desired length. In one embodiment, the locking member 50 may include a pin 52 that is configured to be removably received at least partially within one and/or a series of holes or indentations in the inner leg member 48. Various other locking configurations may also be employed herein.

[0032] The various components of the frame 10 may be produced from any variety of suitable materials and using any variety of suitable forming techniques. According to one embodiment, the various components of the frame 10 may be formed from aluminum extrusions, such as tubes, box beams, I-beams, etc. Other forming methods, such as casting, machining, etc. may also suitably be used. Additionally, other materials, such as fiberglass, wood, plastic, enameled steel, etc. may also suitably be employed herein. Consistent with the present disclosure it is not necessary that all of the components of the frame 10 be produced from the same material. Obviously, advantage may be had by providing at least some of the components formed from different materials than other components. Accordingly, the scope of the present disclosure should not be construed as being limited to any particular material or manufacturing processes.

[0033] With reference to FIG. 3, a shelter 54 is shown including a cover 56 that may be disposed over a frame, such as the frame 10 previously illustrated and described. According to an embodiment, the cover 56 may be separable or removable from the frame 10, thereby providing a modular construction of the shelter 54. The cover 56 may be formed from any suitable member that may be used in conjunction with the frame 10 to protect a plant from snow, ice, rain, wind, etc. The frame may provide the necessary structure to support the cover. Suitable materials for producing the cover 56 may include fabric materials, such as nylon fabric, polyester fabric, polymer film or sheet, reinforced and non-reinforced, etc. The material of the cover 56 may be selected to withstand rigors of winter including wind, snow sleet, freezing rain, ice and/or animals. Additionally, the cover may provide protection against frost and/or low temperatures and/or temperature fluctuations. While the cover 56 may include attributes such as breathability, water resistance, UV resistance, weather blocking, etc., a shelter consistent with the present disclosure should not be construed as being limited by the material of the cover 56.

[0034] As depicted in FIG. 3, when the cover 56 is installed over the frame, the shelter 54 may have a generally domed roof portion 58. The domed roof portion 58 may allow the shelter 54 to shed snow, rain, sleet, ice, etc., and may resist crushing or collapsing under a load, such as produced by falling, accumulating, and/or blowing snow, ice, sleet, etc. The cover 56 may be configured as a single piece having an integrated roof portion 58 and wall portion 60. Alternatively, the roof portion 58 and wall portion 60 may be separate components that may be assembled to one another and/or to the frame. In the foregoing manner, the cover may establish a shelter around the plant. The shelter may have an open bottom and may provide a barrier between at least a portion of the plant and the exterior of the shelter established by the cover.

[0035] The cover 56 may be secured to the frame using a variety of techniques, including Velcro.TM., or similar, straps that may be secured around components of the frame. In another embodiment, the cover may include channels, e.g., stitched into the cover, for receiving at least a portion of the frame, thereby releasably coupling the cover to the frame. Additionally, the cover 56 may include straps 62 having openings or grommets 64, as shown in FIG. 2. The spike 42a at the bottom of the legs 12a may be inserted through an opening or grommet 64 to secure the cover 56 to the frame and to stake the cover 56 to the ground. In a related manner, the cover itself may include one or more grommets or openings. The spike at the bottom of the legs may be inserted through respective grommets or opening to secure the cover to the frame. Additionally, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the cover 56 may include a roof cap 66 that may be coupled to the peak plate 40 of the frame 10. According to one embodiment, the peak plate 40 may include a protrusion 68 that may be received in a cooperating indentation or opening in the roof cap 66. The roof cap, and or another portion of the roof, may include one or more openings to facilitate ventilation of the interior of the shelter, as well as to secure the cover to the frame.

[0036] Consistent with the illustrated embodiment, the cover 56 may include a plurality of cinch straps 70 on the roof portion 58, the wall portion 60, and/or extending between the roof portion 58 and the wall portion 60. With reference to FIG. 4, the cinch strap 70 may include a buckle 72 and a strap 74 that may be adjustably secured by the buckle 72. The cinch strap 70 may be employed to customize the fit between the cover 56 and the frame 10, for example to allow the shelter 54 to be configured in different sizes by expanding and contracting the frame 10. The strap 74 may be tightened in the buckle 72, thereby creating a fold 76 in the cover 56 and maintaining the cover 56 in such a configuration. The size of the shelter 54 may be increased by loosening the cinch straps 70 and expanding the frame 10. The cover 56 may then be customized to the size of the frame using the cinch straps 70. In a similar manner, the cover may include ties, e.g., fabric stripe, rope, etc., which may be tied to cooperating ties, grommets, etc., to customize the fit between the cover and the frame.

[0037] As shown in FIG. 5, according to one embodiment the shelter may be completely collapsed for ease of storage. The completely collapsed shelter may be stored in a protective bag 78. The protective bag 78 may protect the shelter against damage when it is not in use and/or may aid in maintaining the shelter in the completely collapsed configuration.

[0038] Turning to FIG. 6, another embodiment of a frame 100 that may suitably be used in connection with a shelter consistent with the present disclosure is shown. The frame 100 may include a plurality of legs 102-108. A plurality of support members 110-116 may be provided extending between each pair of adjacent legs 102, 104. The legs 102-108 and the support members 110-116 may be coupled to one another via couplings 117. While the illustrated embodiment is depicted including four legs 102-108 and four support members 110-116, a greater or lesser number of each may be employed.

[0039] A pair of roof members 118, 120 may be provided extending between diagonally opposed legs 102, 108. The roof members 118, 120 may be coupled to the legs 102-108 using the same coupling 117 employed to couple the legs 102-108 and the support members 110-116. As shown, the roof members 118, 120 may have a generally arcuate configuration, thereby providing a generally dome shape. In one embodiment, the roof members 118, 120 may be coupled to one another at the approximate midpoint of each member 118, 120 to maintain the general orientation of the members 118, 120 relative to one another. As an alternative to the dome configuration of the illustrated embodiment, the roof members may extend between adjacent legs, thereby providing a generally arched configuration. The roof members 118, 120 may be provided having an arcuate shape. Alternatively, the roof members 118, 120 may be at least partially flexible members having a length greater than the distance between diagonally opposed legs. The roof member 118, 120 may be bowed upwardly into an arced configuration by constraining the ends of the roof members 118, 120 to the diagonally opposed legs.

[0040] According to another embodiment, the roof members may be straight members and arranged to provide a pyramidal and/or a peaked roof geometry. A pyramidal or peaked configuration may be achieved by providing each of the roof members as two or more straight members that can be angularly oriented relative to each other, e.g., by an angular coupling, by bending, etc.

[0041] Similar to the preceding embodiment, the bottom of each of the legs 102-108 may be configured to facilitate anchoring into the ground. In the illustrated embodiment the bottom of each of the legs 102, 108 may be provided having a stake member 122. As can generally be seen, the stake member 122 may include crossing or intersecting planar features that may taper toward the end thereof. A stake member 122 according to the illustrated embodiment may provide a strong anchoring purchase to the ground and may reduce twisting of the legs, e.g., under the load of a blowing wind. Alternatively, the end of each leg may include a tapered spike or other suitable anchoring feature. As with the preceding embodiment, the stake member 122 may be provided as a separable component that may be anchored into the ground. The legs 102-108 may subsequently be coupled to the stake members 122.

[0042] Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the frame 100 may be provided having different configurations that may advantageously be employed for different circumstances. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, the frame 100a may be provided not including the roof members. Accordingly, the frame 100a may provide a flat roof rather than a peaked or domed roof. Such a configuration may be suitable for plants that are, for example, located under the eaves of a house. Such plants may be at a relatively low risk from falling and/or accumulating snow, rain, sleet, ice, etc. Accordingly, a domed or peaked roof capable of shedding snow, rain, etc. may be less important.

[0043] As shown in FIG. 8, individual frames 100b, 100c may be ganged, i.e., connected together or placed next to one another, to provide a larger shelter. In the illustrated embodiment, the individual frames 100b, 100c may actually be integrated together. For example, the frames 100b, 100c may be configured sharing a common leg 102a. Alternatively, the frames may be complete and separate frames that are positioned next to one another. Consistent with the latter embodiment, the separate frames may be releasably coupled to one another in order to maintain the frames in the desired positional relationship.

[0044] Turning to FIG. 9, an embodiment of a coupling 117 that may be used to couple the legs 102-108 to the support members 110-116 and to the roof members 118, 120 is depicted. The coupling 117 may include a body 124 defining a plurality of openings 126, 128. The openings 126, 128 may be sized to at least partially receive an end portion of one or more of the components of the frame 100, including the legs 102-108, support members 110-116, etc. According to one embodiment, the coupling 117 may be configured to releasably retain components of the frame 100. Components of the frame 100 may be releasably retained in the openings 126, 128, for example, by frictional engagement, snap-fits, twist-lock/bayonet fasteners, etc.

[0045] According to an embodiment consistent with the present disclosure, the coupling 117 may include one or more flexible features 130, 132, 134. Flexibility of the one or more flexible features 130, 132, 134 may be achieved by configuring the flexible members 130, 132, 134 including corrugated tubular members, resilient tubular members, elastomeric features, etc. The flexible members 130, 132, 134 may be positionable at various angular and/or positional orientations relative to the body 124 of the coupling 117, and/or to one or more of the openings 126, 128 defined in the coupling 117. One or more of the flexible members 130, 132, 134 may define an opening (not visible in the illustrated embodiment) in an end of the member. An opening defined in one or more of the flexible members 130, 132, 134 may be sized to at least partially receive an end portion of one or more components of the frame 100, such as the roof members 118, 120, legs 102-108, support members 110-116, etc. An opening defined in one or more of the flexible members 130, 132, 134 may be configured to releasably retain a component of the frame 100 disposed therein, for example, by frictional engagement, snap-fit, etc.

[0046] While only two openings 126, 128 are visible in the illustrated embodiment, the coupling 117 may include any desired number of openings. Similarly, while the illustrated openings 126, 128 are oriented providing a perpendicular intersection with one another, any desired angular and/or positional relationship may be established between the openings defined in the coupling 117. Furthermore, various different openings defined in the coupling 117 may have different angular and/or positional orientations as compared to other openings defined in the coupling 117. The foregoing aspects may make it possible to achieve a variety of different frame configurations and may facilitate customizing the frame 100 to provide effective shelter for plants of different sizes and shapes.

[0047] Consistent with one embodiment, the coupling 117 may allow the individual members of the frame 100, i.e., the legs 102-108, support members 110-116, and roof members 118, 120, to be separated from one another. Accordingly, the frame 100 may be a modular construction. In addition to coupling the individual components of the frame 100, a coupling 117 may be provided to attach the stake members 122 to the respective legs 102-108. Accordingly, the stake members 122 may also be removable from the legs 102-108.

[0048] Various other coupling devices may be used for maintaining the various components of the frame in a desired relationship to one another. For example, a suitable coupling may include a body defining a plurality of openings arranged in a desired orientation for the various components of the frame. The openings may releasably and/or non-releasably retain components of the frame. In one particular embodiment, the coupling may include a plurality of tubular members joined to one another. The tubular members may be configured to at least partially receive an end of a component of the frame and to maintain the component of the frame in a desired angular and/or positional relationship relative to another component of the frame.

[0049] Turning to FIG. 10, an embodiment of a shelter 136 is shown including a cover 138 disposed over a frame (not visible), for example the frame 100 illustrated in FIG. 6. In an embodiment herein, the cover 138 may be fit to the underlying frame. In a related embodiment similar to the previously described embodiment, the fit of the cover 138 may be adjusted to the frame using cinch straps or the like. Consistent with the illustrated embodiment, the cover 138 may be secured to the underlying frame using C-clamps 140. In one embodiment, the C-clamps 140 may generally be configured as resilient members having an arcuate profile. In the case of an underlying frame member having a circular cross-sectional profile, the C-clamps may have an arcuate expanse that is slightly greater than 180 degrees. Accordingly, the C-clamps may be resiliently deformed and positioned around the underlying frame with the cover 138 sandwiched between the inner surface of the C-clamp and the underlying frame. The arcuate expanse of the C-clamp around more than half the circumference of the underlying frame member may retain the C-clamp in position on the frame member. Different arcuate expanses and geometries may be employed depending upon the cross-sectional geometry of the underlying frame member to which the C-clamp is attached.

[0050] In an alternative embodiment, at least a portion of each of the side edges may engage a cooperating feature in the underlying frame. According so some such embodiments, at least a portion of the cover may be sandwiched between the side edge of the C-clamp and the cooperating feature of the underlying frame. Various other configurations may be used for securing the cover to the underlying frame, including alternative C-clamp configurations, tie straps, etc.

[0051] Turning to FIG. 11, another embodiment of a frame 200 consistent with the present disclosure is illustrated. Generally, the frame 200 may include a central hub 202 having a plurality of spider legs 204-212 extending from the hub 202. While the illustrated frame 200 is shown including six spider legs, a greater or lesser number of spider legs may be employed. The following description is relates to the spider leg 212 for the sake of clarity and ease of description. The other spider legs 204-210 may be configured in a generally analogous manner. As shown, the spider leg 212 may include a spoke portion 214 extending from the hub 202. As shown, the spoke portion 214 may extend from the hub 202 at a downward angle. According to one embodiment, the spoke portion 214 may be pivotally coupled to the hub 202, thereby permitting the spoke 214 to extend at variable angles from the hub 202.

[0052] A leg portion 216 may extend from the spoke portion 214. As shown, the leg portion 216 may be oriented at a downward angle relative to the spoke portion 214. According to one embodiment herein, the leg portion 216 may be directly or indirectly pivotally coupled to the spoke portion 214. For example, the leg portion 216 may be directly pivotally coupled to the spoke portion 214 by a hinge 218. Pivotally coupling the leg portion 216 to the spoke portion 214 in this manner may allow the leg portion 216 to be positioned at various angles relative to the spoke portion 214, and therefore at various angles of inclination relative to the ground. According to one aspect, the leg portion 216 may be set at a larger internal angle relative to the spoke portion 214 to accommodate a wider plant. Advantageously, the leg may be locked in a desired angular relationship with the spoke.

[0053] As shown in detail in FIG. 12, the leg portion 216 may be configured as a telescoping member. The leg portion 216 may include an outer portion 220 having an inner portion 222 slidably disposed within the outer portion 220. The telescoping leg 216 may also include a locking feature 224. According to one embodiment, the locking feature 224 may include a locking pin 226 configured to engage holes 228 or indentations in the inner member 222 of the telescoping leg 216. Other locking features may also suitably be employed. The telescoping aspect of the leg portion 216 may allow the height of the frame 200 to be adjusted to accommodate plants of different sizes.

[0054] Referring to FIG. 13, the shelter 230 may also include a cover 232 that may be secured over the frame (not visible in the illustrated embodiment). The cover 232 may be secured to the underlying frame using C-clamps 234 as described previously. With reference to FIG. 14, in an embodiment in which the components of the frame have a non-circular cross-section, such as an oval, the C-clamp may be provided having a corresponding cross-sectional shape and extending around a sufficient portion of the circumference of the component of the frame to be retained in position and to secure the cover 232 to the underlying frame. As described in connection with previous embodiments, the cover may also be removably secured to the hub, e.g., by a cap, etc., which may also provide ventilation of the interior of the shelter, allowing a plant within to breath.

[0055] Similar to previously described embodiments, the cover 232 may include one or more cinch straps 236 that may allow the cover 232 to be adjusted to more closely fit over the underlying frame. As shown in FIG. 15, the cinch straps 236 may include a strap 238 adjustably laced through a buckle 240. The strap 238 may be tightened in the buckle 240, thereby creating a fold 242 in the cover 232, and maintaining the cover 232 in such a configuration. The fit of the cover 232 over the frame may be customized by adjusting the various cinch straps 236 associated with the cover 232. Additionally, the cover may include one or more grommets or openings, which may receive a pin extending from one or more of the legs, a stake, or other feature. Such a configuration may aid in anchoring the shelter to the ground and may assist in securing the cover to the frame.

[0056] As discussed hereinabove, the various embodiments of the shelter consistent with the present disclosure may generally be collapsed or disassembled to a less space consuming configuration. While not necessary, this aspect may allow the shelter to be easily and conveniently stored when the shelter is not in use. As depicted with reference to the embodiment described with reference to FIGS. 1 through 5, the at least partially collapsed or disassembled shelter may be stored in a bag, or other suitable container, to protect the components against damage and to keep the various pieced together to prevent loss.

[0057] According to one aspect, the present invention is directed at a protective shelter for a plant. The protective shelter may include a frame having a plurality of legs, with each of the legs capable of being separately adjustably positioned relative to the plant. The frame may provide a support structure around at least a portion of the plant. A cover may be adapted to be at least partially supported by the frame for establishing a shelter having an open bottom and providing a barrier between at least a portion of the top and of at least one side of the plant and an exterior of the shelter.

[0058] According to another aspect, a method of sheltering a plant is provided including providing a frame having a plurality of legs and separately positioning each of the legs relative to the plant to provide a support structure around at least a portion of the plant. The method may also include providing a cover and coupling the cover to the frame such that the cover is at least partially supported by the frame. The cover may establish a shelter providing a barrier between at least a portion of the top and of at least one side of the plant and an exterior of the shelter.

[0059] According to yet another aspect, a shelter for a plant may be provided including a frame having a plurality of legs configured to be positioned at least partially around the plant. The legs may be coupled to a respective plurality of radially extending members, in which the members extend radially outwardly from a central hub. A cover may be configured to be at least partially supported by the frame to establish a shelter providing a barrier between at least a portion of a top and of at least one side of the plant and an exterior of the shelter established by the cover.

[0060] The preceding disclosure has been directed at various particular embodiments including different features, aspects, and/or cooperating components. However, consistent with the present disclosure, the various features, aspects, and/or components of any of the particular embodiments may be combined with features, aspects, and/or components of any one, or all of, the various other embodiments disclosed herein. Additionally, the particular embodiments, features, aspects, and/or components disclosed herein are readily susceptible to modification and/or variation without materially departing from the scope of the disclosed subject matter. All such modifications and variations are contemplated herein.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Plant shelter patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Plant shelter or other areas of interest.
###



Thank you for viewing the Plant shelter patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.44457 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Tyco , Unilever , 3m

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g1-0.1321
     SHARE
  
           


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20060185708 A1
Publish Date
08/24/2006
Document #
File Date
10/31/2014
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0



Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents