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Re: [aroid-l] Artificial Trees

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Artificial Trees
  • From: Dan Levin levin@pixar.com
  • Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 16:26:04 -0800

One variation on this theme, which I'm currently building in my
greenhouse, is the totem on steroids approach.  The concept has
been discussed here before, I think.  Certainly not as compelling or
elaborate as an art. tree, but it is significantly simpler (= cheaper)
to install and the ultimate result provides similar functionality which
doesn't look half bad- and if you squint a bit, looks great.

Though I may experiment with mounting non araceous material onto
these structures, my primary interest is in providing support for many
of my climbing, epiphytic and vining aroids e.g. Anthurium, Cercestis,
Philodendron,  Rhaphidophora, Syngonium, etc.
I'm pre wrapping lengths of 1-1/2" ABS (black plastic drain pipe)
with a good layer of coconut fiber which has been pre-soaked; the
fiber then held in place with a tight wrap of nylon twine, coils spaced
approx. 2" - 3" (6 cm) apart.  These totems are attached to the vertical
greenhouse members with rigid plastic drain pipe hangers, which have
in turn been bolted to "L" brackets; the totems being variably fixed in
place- but stood off from- the side walls.
As Craig does with his trees, I'm also using partial radius bends/fittings
to help break up the visual monotony (aka telephone pole syndrome)
of the vertical pipe.  My totems are also following the roof gable angles
upwards to the roof peak, at times interconnecting with one another, etc.
Strategically placed spray heads keep the coco fiber dampened just
enough to encourage root growth, attachment, and when needed can
deliver chemigation.  Long term my hope is that when the fiber begins
to decompose, I can apply new hunks of the stuff in and around the
roots without too much difficulty but time will tell (hey, it can't be
worse than re-corking a tree).

My thanks to all you artificial tree artisans for sharing your advice
and recipes; this has been an extremely inspiring discussion!


Harry Witmore wrote:

> Brian has a wall, I have a tree, what else are you all dreaming of doing to
> grow your plants in an attractive manner and if you are doing it already,
> where are the picture. I think a page which shows members plant displays
> would stir interest in the plants. Those of us in temperate to down right
> frozen areas of the country, need to create the look of the tropics in our
> own environment.

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