Author Topic: Storm damage to my mega tree  (Read 391 times)

Offline Christmasaddict

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Storm damage to my mega tree
« on: December 19, 2016, »
I thought some of you might be interested in what happened to my 25' mega tree last Saturday night.  A strong cold front came through with extremely high winds that blew almost continuously for several hours.  One of my guy wires broke and the stress snapped the 3" steel pole like it was a twig.  I always feel that I over engineer everything that I do however in hindsight using the small, braided clothesline for a guy wire was an obvious mistake.  Show is over this year however I plan to be back bigger and better next year.  I have attached a picture of the aftermath.

Offline tbone321

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2016, »
WOW, that sucks,  Sorry to see that.  Perhaps steel line will work better next year with the 40 ft megatree.   :D
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Offline NavyGator

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, »
Dang. That stinks. Maybe run the show without the mega tree???

Was that galvanized steel? And was it threaded where it broke?

Offline Christmasaddict

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2016, »
I like the comment about the 40' tree.  Food for thought...

As far as the show the mega tree WAS the show.  The rest of my lights are static.

The cable was galvanized.  It broke pretty much right in the middle.

Offline tbone321

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2016, »
LOL, now you have me confused.  What was galvanized, the pole or the wire?  How many guy wires did you use and where did you attach them?  I would suggest using at least 6 and attach them within a foot of the top of the tree.  The lower you mount them, the more leverage the wind has over them and if you use less than 5, there will be wind directions where only 1 wire is handling the entire load.  Put these two conditions together and you have a significant point of failure.
If at first you don't succeed,
your not cut out for sky diving

Offline caretaker

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, »
When I had my mega tree I had a 3 foot piece of 2 inch rigid conduit cemented in the ground then I would screw a 10 foot piece of rigid onto it with a rigid couple and then a 7 foot piece of 2 inch rigid connected to that with another rigid coupler. I ran 4 10 gauge galvanized wires attached about a foot and a half down from the top of the pole attached to 2 foot pieces of re-rod pounded in the ground. It withstood  a 60+ MPH wind storm. The secret is making sure you get enough threads down into the couplings. I used a pipe wrench to tighten everything up.
Jeff Squires
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Offline Christmasaddict

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, »
Sorry, I was confused.  I thought you were asking about the cable instead of the pole.  The pole was galvanized.  It broke right at the point where it went into the coupling.  The pole was made up of 3 sections and they were all tightened as much as possible using pipe wrenches.  There was actually no threads visible.  As far as the guy wires I was using 3.  They were attached just a few inches from the top of the pole.  Good point about using 6.  I may add 3 more assuming I rebuild this thing for next year.  I actually have large eye bolts permanently cemented in the ground that I attach the cables to.  They are designed to be right at ground level so in the summer I can mow right over them.  Some years they are a little hard to find however I have very accurate measurements so usually I can find them pretty easily.

I appreciate everyone's comments and input.  Merry Christmas!!

Offline jnealand

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2016, »
After having several mega trees get blown over for various reasons I built a Monkhouse JUMP pole and have not had a problem since and I do not have any guy wires.  If I was starting over I would build a Monkhouse ASAP pole.  Similar, but easier to put up.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA

Offline mmciver

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2016, »
Sorry to hear about the damage.  That always sucks:(

I have a joint in my mega tree and I took a 3 foot peice of slightly smaller pipe and set it in one of my peices of pipe and bolted it in place.

I can screw my pieces together and take them apart, but it makes that joint much stronger.  ONce it is up I put a pin thru the other piece also.  No failures so far, knock on wood, and it has been thru 75 mph winds with gusts to 90. 

Did I mention it is on my roof?

Merry Christmas

Mike.
650000 lights!
160 Channels - 2010 numbers
RGB elements
Combo Mega Tree
Never enough lights!

Offline NavyGator

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Re: Storm damage to my mega tree
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2016, »
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Sorry, I was confused.  I thought you were asking about the cable instead of the pole.  The pole was galvanized.  It broke right at the point where it went into the coupling.  The pole was made up of 3 sections and they were all tightened as much as possible using pipe wrenches.  There was actually no threads visible.  As far as the guy wires I was using 3.  They were attached just a few inches from the top of the pole.  Good point about using 6.  I may add 3 more assuming I rebuild this thing for next year.  I actually have large eye bolts permanently cemented in the ground that I attach the cables to.  They are designed to be right at ground level so in the summer I can mow right over them.  Some years they are a little hard to find however I have very accurate measurements so usually I can find them pretty easily.

I appreciate everyone's comments and input.  Merry Christmas!!

I'm not sure how old your pipe was but the zinc coating can get worn off and if threads were cut into the pipe after it was galvanized it can allow for corrosion and generating weak points.

Depending on what you decide to do.....I would say double your guy wire count since you already have 3 anchors. If you wanted you could run 6 lines from the top of the pole and 6 from the middle also.