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Publication numberUS20040148852 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/356,965
Publication dateAug 5, 2004
Filing dateFeb 3, 2003
Priority dateFeb 3, 2003
Publication number10356965, 356965, US 2004/0148852 A1, US 2004/148852 A1, US 20040148852 A1, US 20040148852A1, US 2004148852 A1, US 2004148852A1, US-A1-20040148852, US-A1-2004148852, US2004/0148852A1, US2004/148852A1, US20040148852 A1, US20040148852A1, US2004148852 A1, US2004148852A1
InventorsWilliam Musak
Original AssigneeMusak William G.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Christmas tree watering device and method
US 20040148852 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a Christmas tree watering device or system. The Christmas tree watering device comprises an ice chute assembly usable in combination with a Christmas tree water reservoir. The ice chute assembly comprises an ice chute and a knockdown type dipstick. The ice chute comprises an ice inlet, an ice outlet, a reservoir-engaging flange, and a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling ice cubes. Additionally, the present invention provides an ice chute whereby the entire exterior chute surface is provided with ornamental markings in a ladder-shaped design. The ornamental ice chute thus resembles an ornamental ladder leading from the Christmas tree water reservoir to a select Christmas tree branch. Further, the ornamental ice chute is adorned with an ornamental figurine posed so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing the amusing Christmas ornament being that of an ornamental character climbing the ornamental ladder.
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Claims(29)
I claim:
1. A Christmas tree irrigation system, the Christmas tree irrigation system comprising, in combination:
a Christmas tree water reservoir, the Christmas tree water reservoir comprising a superior peripheral rim and an inferior matter-containment basin, the inferior matter-containment basin for receiving and retaining a Christmas tree base and a water supply;
a substantially linear ice chute, the ice chute comprising a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, a conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end, and an exterior chute surface, the superior chute end comprising an ice inlet and means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select Christmas tree branch, the inferior chute end comprising an ice outlet and means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with the superior peripheral rim, the conduit length having a given linear measure; and
a dipstick, the dipstick comprising a superior dipstick portion, an inferior dipstick portion, and means for reversibly connecting the superior dipstick portion to the inferior dipstick portion, the superior dipstick portion comprising a superior mouth end, an inferior conjugate end, and means for removably attaching the superior dipstick portion to the superior chute end, the inferior dipstick portion comprising a superior conjugate end and an inferior orifice end, the orifice end comprising water level indicia, the dipstick having a dipstick length when the superior dipstick portion is reversibly connected to the inferior dipstick portion, the dipstick length having greater magnitude than the given linear measure.
2. The Christmas tree irrigation system of claim 1 wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section, the conduit length thus having a substantially planar superior portion, a substantially planar inferior portion, and two substantially planar, laterally-opposite, substantially vertical portions, the superior portion, inferior portion and vertical portions being continuously formed, thus forming a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute, the substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute for channeling cubic ice chunks from a superior location adjacent the select Christmas tree branch to the Christmas tree water reservoir.
3. The Christmas tree irrigation system of claim 2 wherein the means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with the Christmas tree water reservoir is defined by comprising a reservoir-engaging flange, the reservoir-engaging flange being a protruding edge of the inferior portion.
4. The Christmas tree base irrigation system of claim 3 wherein the exterior chute surface comprises ornamental markings.
5. An ice chute assembly for channeling ice from a superior location adjacent a Christmas tree branch to a Christmas tree water reservoir adjacent a Christmas tree base, the ice chute assembly comprising:
a substantially linear ice chute, the ice chute comprising a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, a conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end, an interior chute surface, and an exterior chute surface, the superior chute end comprising an ice inlet and means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select Christmas tree branch, the inferior chute end comprising an ice outlet and means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with a Christmas tree water reservoir, the Christmas tree water reservoir being adjacent a Christmas tree base, the conduit length having a given linear measure; and
a dipstick, the dipstick comprising a superior dipstick portion, an inferior dipstick portion, and means for reversibly connecting the superior dipstick portion to the inferior dipstick portion, the superior dipstick portion comprising a superior mouth end, an inferior conjugate end, and means for removably attaching the superior dipstick portion to the superior chute end, the inferior dipstick portion comprising a superior conjugate end and an inferior orifice end, the orifice end comprising water level indicia, the dipstick having a dipstick length when the superior dipstick portion is reversibly connected to the inferior dipstick portion, the dipstick length having greater magnitude than the given linear measure.
6. The ice chute assembly of claim 5 wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section, the conduit length thus having a substantially planar superior portion, a substantially planar inferior portion, and two substantially planar, laterally-opposite, substantially vertical portions, the superior portion, inferior portion and vertical portions being continuously formed, thus forming a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute, the substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute for channeling cubic ice chunks from a superior location adjacent the select Christmas tree branch to the Christmas tree water reservoir.
7. The ice chute assembly of claim 6 wherein the dipstick is removably attached to the ice chute such that the dipstick lies adjacent the interior chute surface, the inferior portion, and one of the vertical portions.
8. The ice chute assembly of claim 7 wherein the means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with the Christmas tree water reservoir is defined by comprising a reservoir-engaging flange, the reservoir-engaging flange being a protruding edge of the inferior portion.
9. The ice chute assembly of claim 8 wherein the exterior chute surface comprises a visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration.
10. The ice chute assembly of claim 9 wherein an ornamental figurine is attached to the exterior surface.
11. The ice chute assembly of claim 10 wherein the visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration is defined by comprising a ladder-shaped design on the superior portion.
12. The ice chute assembly of claim 11 wherein the ornamental figurine is posed on the superior portion so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design.
13. A chute for channeling water to a select region in inferior adjacency to a plant stem, the chute comprising:
a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, a substantially linear conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end, and an exterior surface, the superior chute end comprising a water inlet and means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select plant branch, the inferior chute end comprising a water outlet and means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with a select plant stem region, the select plant stem region being in inferior adjacency to a plant stem.
14. The chute of claim 13 wherein the chute is defined by comprising indicator means for indicating the presence or absence of water at the select plant stem region.
15. The chute of claim 14 wherein the chute is defined by being sized and shaped to channel cubic ice chunks from a superior location adjacent the select plant branch to the select plant stem region.
16. The chute of claim 15 wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular lateral cross section.
17. The chute of claim 16 wherein the exterior surface is defined by comprising decorative markings.
18. In combination, an ice chute and a Christmas tree stand, the Christmas tree stand comprising a water container, the water container having an upper container lip, the ice chute having a given length, a curved lower chute end, and an upper chute end, the curved lower chute end in engaged supported relation with said upper container lip when the water container is in need of being filled, the ice chute overlying said curved lower chute end, the ice chute having parallel sides and being sized and shaped to guide ice cubes from the upper chute end through the ice chute over the curved lower chute end into the water container for minimizing water spillage where ice is used to fill the water container provided by said Christmas tree stand, and means for suspending the upper chute end from a Christmas tree limb.
19. The combination of claim 18 wherein a dipstick is provided having a length greater than the given length of the ice chute for determining the water level in the water container at any given time.
20. The combination of claim 19 wherein releasable means is provided below an upper end of the dipstick and the ice chute for holding a lower end of the dipstick in a position for storage of the dipstick when being placed in a non use position.
21. The combination of claim 20 wherein said releasable means comprises a clip mounted on said dipstick in greater adjacency to the upper end of the dipstick in clipped-on relation with an upper end of said ice chute.
22. The combination of claim 21 wherein the dipstick may be knocked down as for storage or shipping.
23. A method of channeling water to a Christmas tree water reservoir, the method comprising the steps of:
providing an ice chute for channeling ice from a superior location to an inferior location, the ice chute comprising a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, a conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end, the superior chute end comprising an ice inlet and means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select Christmas tree branch, the inferior chute end comprising an ice outlet and means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with a Christmas tree water reservoir, the Christmas tree water reservoir being adjacent a Christmas tree base;
installing the ice chute on a Christmas tree, the Christmas tree comprising the select Christmas tree branch and the Christmas tree base; and
depositing ice in the ice inlet, thus effectively channeling water to the Christmas tree water reservoir.
24. The method of claim 23 wherein the step of installing the ice chute on a Christmas tree is defined by comprising the optionally ordered steps of:
attaching the superior chute end to the select Christmas tree branch; and
interfacing the inferior chute end with the Christmas tree water reservoir.
25. The method of claim 24 wherein the method comprises the step of providing a dipstick, the dipstick comprising a superior dipstick portion, an inferior dipstick portion, and means for reversibly connecting the superior dipstick portion to the inferior dipstick portion, the superior dipstick portion comprising a superior mouth end, an inferior conjugate end, and means for removably attaching the superior dipstick portion to the superior chute end, the inferior dipstick portion comprising a superior conjugate end and an inferior orifice end, the orifice end comprising water level indicia, the dipstick having a dipstick length when the superior dipstick portion is reversibly connected to the inferior dipstick portion, the dipstick length having greater magnitude than the conduit length.
26. A method of channeling water to a select region in inferior adjacency to a plant stem, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a chute, the chute comprising a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, a conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end, the superior chute end comprising a water inlet and means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select plant branch, the inferior chute end comprising a water outlet and means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with a select plant stem region, the select plant stem region being in inferior adjacency to a plant stem;
installing the ice chute on a plant, the plant comprising the select plant branch and the plant stem; and
depositing water in the water inlet, thus channeling water to the select plant stem region.
27. The method of claim 26 wherein the chute is defined by comprising indicator means for indicating the presence or absence of water at the select plant stem region.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section.
29. The method of claim 28 wherein the step of depositing water in the water inlet is defined by depositing ice in the water inlet.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention generally relates to an irrigation system for earthen products. More particularly, the present invention relates to chute or conduit means for delivering water to select areas or regions adjacent basal plant structure. Specifically, the present invention relates to a uniquely configured chute for delivering ice cubes to Christmas tree water reservoirs.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of the Prior Art
  • [0004]
    It is widely accepted that the Christmas tree or “Tannenbaum” is a German tradition dating from as early as 700 A.D. During the 1800's, however, Germans began immigrating to the United States, settling primarily in Pennsylvania, and in the wake of this German immigration, the Christmas tree tradition quickly spread to the United States. Not surprisingly, Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since the mid 1800's. Currently, approximately 36 million Christmas trees are produced each year, a majority of which are produced or grown on Christmas tree farms or plantations. Experts estimate that more than 1 million acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees and, in North America alone, there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farmers.
  • [0005]
    Entrepreneurs have generally taken note of the lucrative market surrounding the Christmas season, and, in particular, have developed niche ventures involving the Christmas tree tradition. In this regard, numerous Christmas tree ornaments, lights, stands, and even a host of artificial Christmas trees have been developed. The primary accompaniment to any natural Christmas tree, however, is water. Without a water supply, the natural or live Christmas tree will quickly dry out. On the other hand, with proper care and an adequate water supply, the average natural or fresh Christmas tree should last at least five to six weeks. While there are numerous additives that may be added to a Christmas tree water supply to prolong the typical natural Christmas tree life, water alone is generally considered to be adequate to keep a natural Christmas tree alive for the holiday season.
  • [0006]
    One of the most common and economical means to provide a natural Christmas tree with a water supply is to provide the natural Christmas tree with a Christmas tree stand having a water reservoir or water basin into which a cut Christmas tree base may be placed. It is noted that the average Christmas tree with sap seals removed (a cut Christmas tree will normally develop a sap seal over the cut base) can absorb as much as 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of water per day. A general rule, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, is that one quart (0.95 liters) of water is required for each inch (2.54 cm) of the trunk's diameter. Therefore, if a given Christmas tree is about 6 feet (1.83 meters) tall with a trunk that measures about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, the Christmas tree stand with water reservoir should hold at least 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of water.
  • [0007]
    While it is further noted that Christmas tree farmers will periodically shear the growing Christmas trees before harvest to obtain the most commercially desirable Christmas tree taper, even a Christmas tree with a relatively small taper will have bulky lateral growth at the base of the tree where Christmas tree water reservoirs are typically located. Filling and refilling a Christmas tree water reservoir can therefore be a cumbersome process often requiring the natural Christmas tree enthusiast to “bend down, get on one's knees, or sit down on the floor” as has been noted U.S. Pat. No. 5,535,547. It will thus be seen that Christmas tree water delivery systems that do not require the natural Christmas tree enthusiast to bend down, get on one's knees or sit down on the floor are effective and useful systems, enabling enthusiasts to more easily maintain water levels in the Christmas tree water reservoir. In this regard, the prior art teaches a variety of Christmas tree or plant water delivery devices, some of which are described hereinafter.
  • [0008]
    For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,473,838 ('838 Patent), which issued to Denbigh, discloses a Christmas Tree Watering Device. The '838 Patent teaches a device for conveying irrigation water to a Christmas tree stand and fluid bowl. The device comprises a funnel securable to a branch of a tree. A tubular conduit extends from the funnel along the tree trunk and terminates within the fluid bowl, thereby permitting fluid to be added to the fluid bowl without requiring an individual to directly access the fluid bowl.
  • [0009]
    It will be seen from a review of the '838 Patent, however, that the disclosed Christmas Tree Watering Device does not teach an ice chute assembly for channeling pieces of frozen water or ice from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch to an inferior outlet location, namely a Christmas tree water reservoir. It will be further seen that the '838 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling ice and a dipstick preferably housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, the '838 Patent does not teach an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic pieces of ice or ice cubes. Further, the '838 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,513,677 ('677 Patent), which issued to McCurry, discloses a Remote Fill Receptacle. The '677 Patent teaches a receptacle body and a receptacle conduit for filling a tree stand water reservoir. Water is received via an inlet opening in the upper portion of the body and outlets the water through an outlet opening in the lower portion of the body into the conduit, which directs the water from the outlet opening to the reservoir.
  • [0011]
    It will be seen from a review of the '677 Patent, however, that the disclosed Remote Fill Receptacle also does not teach an ice chute assembly for channeling pieces of ice from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch to an inferior outlet location, namely a Christmas tree water reservoir. It will be further seen that the '677 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling pieces or chunks of ice and a knockdown type dipstick housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, the '677 Patent does not teach an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic pieces of ice. Further, the '677 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design.
  • [0012]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,535,547 ('547 Patent), which issued to Brunengo, discloses a Conduit and Float Gauge Apparatus. The Conduit and Float Gauge Apparatus comprises a conduit unit which includes a bottom portion for placement in a water-retaining receptacle. At least one connector assembly connects the conduit unit to a Christmas tree, such that the connector assembly stabilizes the conduit unit in a substantially vertical orientation. A float assembly is housed within the conduit unit and includes a flotation member located within the bottom end portion of the conduit unit. The conduit unit has a linear length sufficient to permit a person to add water to the top end portion of the conduit unit without bending down, getting on one's knees, or sitting down on the floor.
  • [0013]
    It will be seen from a review of the '547 Patent that the disclosed Conduit and Float Gauge Apparatus does not teach an ice chute assembly for channeling ice chunks from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch to an inferior outlet location, emptying into a Christmas tree water reservoir. It will be further seen that the '547 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling ice chunks and a dipstick of a knockdown type housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, the '547 Patent does not teach an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic ice chunks. Further, the '547 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine. The '547 Patent thus does not teach an ice chute assembly wherein the ice chute assembly comprises an ornamental character climbing an ornamental ladder.
  • [0014]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,615,516 ('516 Patent), which issued to Brown, discloses a Watering Device. The Watering Device comprises ornament-shaped inlet housing and an outlet. A flexible tube is attached to the outlet. Water poured into the inlet housing exits through the outlet and into the tube. The tube, typically hidden within the tree, can extend downward and into a base or reservoir. Water, traveling down the tube, typically exits the tube into the base.
  • [0015]
    It will be seen from a review of the '516 Patent that the disclosed Watering Device does not teach an ice chute assembly for channeling ice chunks from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch to an inferior outlet location, namely a Christmas tree water reservoir. It will be further seen that the '516 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling ice chunks and a knockdown type dipstick housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, the '516 Patent does not teach an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic ice chunks. Further, the '516 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design.
  • [0016]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,661,926 ('926 Patent), which issued to Granger, discloses a Christmas Tree Watering Funnel with Indicating System. The invention of the '926 Patent comprises a rigid funnel body having integrally formed top, center, and bottom portions. The funnel has a frusto-conical cross-section that tapers from the top portion to the bottom portion. A flexible coupling is integrally formed between the portions of the funnel to hold them in a desired angular relationship. An indicating system is affixed to the top portion of the funnel. When the water supply in the stand has fallen below a desired minimum level, the indicating system notifies the user. A connecting member couples a water level device at the bottom of the funnel to the indicating device. The water level device actuates the indicating system.
  • [0017]
    It will be seen from a review of the '926 Patent that the disclosed Christmas Tree Watering Funnel with Indicating System does not teach an ice chute assembly for channeling ice from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch to an inferior outlet location, namely, a Christmas tree water reservoir. It will be further seen that the '926 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling ice and a knockdown type dipstick housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, the '926 Patent does not teach an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic ice chunks. Further, the '926 Patent does not teach an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design.
  • [0018]
    Of the numerous Christmas tree or plant watering devices that have been developed, many provide conduit means for delivering water from a superior depository location to an inferior outlet location so as to provide the basal plant structure with moisture to promote a prolonged life state of the plant structure or natural Christmas tree. In this regard, it has been shown that Christmas tree or plant watering devices of various types are known in the prior art. However, in addition to often being exorbitantly priced, the Christmas tree or plant watering devices that have been developed are often cumbersome to practice, requiring the user to deposit liquid water or water in an unfrozen state in the described superior depository so as to allow the liquid water to travel under gravitational forces through the conduit means to the Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure located at an inferior location relative to the superior depository. Liquid water, however, is often cumbersome to work with or handle due to its liquid nature; the liquid water often spilling from deposit containers onto delicate gifts or other sensitive packages located beneath the deposit site, some of which may include items having dangerous electrical currents running therethrough.
  • [0019]
    Further, the Christmas tree or plant watering devices that have been developed often do not comprise ornamental configurations or attributes. The prior art disclosures that attempt to include ornamental configurations into the design of the Christmas tree or plant watering device do not disclose ornamental configurations readily adapted from the entire form and function of the conduit means. In other words, the prior art teaches conduit means readily distinguishable from the ornamental configuration. Readily distinguishable conduit means decrease the overall ornamental effect of the watering device. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,473,838; 5,513,677; 5,615,516; 5,799,437; 6,073,390; 6,082,043; 6,167,651; 6,367,195; and D375,026 all disclose Christmas tree or plant watering devices in which the conduit means are observably distinct from the ornamental aspects of the disclosure, thus detracting from the overall ornamental effect of the respective devices.
  • [0020]
    The prior art thus perceives a need for an ice chute assembly for channeling ice from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch to an inferior outlet location, namely a Christmas tree water reservoir. The prior art further perceives a need for an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling ice and a knockdown type dipstick housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, the prior art perceives a need for an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic ice chunks or ice cubes. Further, the prior art perceives a need for an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design.
  • [0021]
    In this last regard, it is contemplated that the prior art perceives a need for a Christmas tree or plant watering device that provides conduit means for delivering ice or water in a frozen state from a superior depository location to an inferior outlet location so as to provide the basal plant structure with a more easily controlled moisture source to promote a prolonged life state of the plant or natural Christmas tree. Further, it is contemplated that the prior art perceives a need for a low cost Christmas tree or plant watering device, which is less cumbersome to practice, enables the user to deposit either easily managed pieces of ice or liquid water in the described superior depository so as to allow the water, whether frozen or unfrozen, to travel under gravitational forces through the conduit means to the Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure located at an inferior location relative to the superior depository. A Christmas tree watering device or plant watering device designed for receiving and channeling chunks of ice thus more easily enables users to avoid spilling liquid water from deposit containers onto delicate gifts or other sensitive packages located beneath the typical deposit site. Further, a Christmas tree watering device or plant watering device designed for receiving and channeling ice chunks more easily enables users to avoid spilling highly conductive liquid water onto items having dangerous electrical currents running therethrough.
  • [0022]
    Further, the prior art perceives a need for a Christmas tree or plant watering device comprising readily configurable ornamental attributes. In this regard, the prior art perceives a need for a Christmas tree or plant watering device comprising conduit means readily amenable to an ornamental configuration. Ornamentally configured conduit means increase the overall ornamental effect of the given watering device. In other words, the prior art perceives a need for a Christmas tree or plant watering device in which the conduit means are not observably distinct from the ornamental aspects of the disclosure, thus increasing the overall ornamental effect of the device.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0023]
    Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree irrigation system or plant watering system, which comprises an ice chute assembly for channeling ice from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch or plant branch to an inferior outlet location, namely, a water reservoir. In this regard, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel means of delivering more easily managed or handled solid ice portions to a Christmas tree reservoir in contradistinction to less easily managed liquid water portions. It is thus a further object of the present invention to provide an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling deposited ice to a Christmas tree water reservoir and a knockdown type dipstick housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. Further, it is an object of the present invention to provide an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic ice chunks, which cubic ice chunks are typically quite easily managed and produced by common household refrigeration means. Still further, it is an object of the present invention to provide an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design. In this regard, it is an object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree irrigation system wherein the conduit means is completely camouflaged or disguised in an ornamental dressing to as to increase the enjoyment or ornamental effect of the natural Christmas tree.
  • [0024]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree or plant watering device that provides conduit means for delivering water in a frozen state or pieces of ice from a superior depository location to an inferior outlet location so as to provide the basal plant structure with a more easily controlled moisture source to promote a prolonged life state. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a low cost Christmas tree or plant watering device, which is less cumbersome to practice, enables the user to deposit either more easily handled ice chunks or less easily handled liquid water in the described superior depository so as to allow the water, whether frozen or unfrozen, to travel under gravitational forces through the conduit means to the Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure located at an inferior location relative to the superior depository. It is thus a further object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree watering device or plant watering device designed for receiving and channeling ice chunks, which more readily enables users to avoid liquid water spillage from deposit containers onto delicate gift items, water sensitive packages and the like located beneath the deposit site. Still further, it is an object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree watering device designed for receiving and channeling pieces of ice, which readily enables users to avoid spilling highly conductive liquid water onto electrically live items having dangerous electrical currents running therethrough.
  • [0025]
    Further, it is an object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree or plant watering device, which comprises readily configurable ornamental attributes. In this regard, it is a further object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree or plant watering device comprising conduit means, which may be readily enhanced to resemble an ornamental configuration, thus increasing the overall ornamental effect of the watering device. In other words, it is an object of the present invention to provide a Christmas tree or plant watering device in which the conduit means are not observably distinct from the ornamental aspects of the disclosure, thus increasing the overall ornamental effect of the device, whereby the enjoyment of the Christmas tree may be increased.
  • [0026]
    To achieve these and other readily apparent objectives, the present invention provides a Christmas tree irrigation system or plant watering system. The Christmas tree irrigation system comprises, in combination, a Christmas tree water reservoir and an ornamental ice chute assembly. The ornamental ice chute assembly comprises an ornamental ice chute and a dipstick. The Christmas tree water reservoir comprises a superior peripheral rim and an inferior matter-containment basin, the inferior matter-containment basin for receiving and retaining the base of a Christmas tree base as well as water to be absorbed by the base of the natural Christmas tree.
  • [0027]
    The ornamental ice chute, which is typically linear, comprises a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, a conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end, an interior chute surface and an exterior chute surface. The superior chute end comprises an ice inlet or opening as well as means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select Christmas tree branch. The inferior chute end comprises an ice outlet or opening as well as means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with the superior peripheral rim of the Christmas tree water reservoir. The conduit length is provided with a given linear measurement, which can be tailored according to the desires of the consumer or the Christmas tree type.
  • [0028]
    The dipstick is preferably of a knock down type and thus comprises a superior dipstick portion, an inferior dipstick portion, and means for reversibly connecting the superior dipstick portion to the inferior dipstick portion. The superior dipstick portion comprises a superior mouth end, an inferior conjugate end, and means for removably attaching the superior dipstick portion to the superior chute end of the ice chute. The inferior dipstick portion comprises a superior conjugate end and an inferior orifice end. The orifice end comprises water level indicia for indicating the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir. When the superior dipstick portion is reversibly connected to the inferior dipstick portion, the dipstick achieves an overall dipstick length. The dipstick length has a greater magnitude than the given linear measurement of the ice chute.
  • [0029]
    The conduit length of the ice chute comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section. That is, the conduit length has a substantially planar superior portion, a substantially planar inferior portion, and two substantially planar, laterally-opposite, substantially vertical portions, which form the walls of the conduit length. The superior portion, inferior portion and vertical portions are thus continuously formed, forming a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute. The substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute is designed to specifically channel ice chunks that are cubic in form from a superior depository location or superior chute end to the Christmas tree water reservoir.
  • [0030]
    The means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select Christmas tree branch may be further defined by comprising an ornamental hook, an ornamental chain and hook combination, or other functionally equivalent removable attachment structure. The means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end of the ice chute with the Christmas tree water reservoir may be further defined by comprising a reservoir-engaging flange. The reservoir-engaging flange essentially comprises a protruding edge of the inferior portion of the ice chute. The means for removably attaching the superior dipstick portion to the superior chute end of the ice chute may be further defined by comprising a clip, a clasp, or other functionally equivalent removable attachment structure.
  • [0031]
    Additionally, the present invention provides a novel ornamentally designed Christmas tree irrigation system whereby the entire exterior chute surface comprises ornamental markings. In this regard, the exterior chute surface comprises a visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration. The visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration may be further defined by comprising a ladder-shaped design on the superior portion of the ice chute thus creating an ice chute which resembles an ornamental ladder leading from the Christmas tree water reservoir to the select Christmas tree branch. Further, the ice chute with ornamental ladder-shaped design on the superior portion is adorned with an ornamental figurine posed so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing the amusing Christmas ornament being that of an ornamental character climbing the ornamental ladder. The ornamental character and the ornamental ladder design together camouflage the summarized ice chute assembly.
  • [0032]
    Additionally, a novel method of channeling water to a Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure is provided wherein the method comprises the initial step of providing an ice chute for channeling ice from a superior location to an inferior location, the ice chute comprising a superior chute end, an inferior chute end, and a conduit length intermediate the superior chute end and the inferior chute end. As earlier summarized, the superior chute end comprises an ice inlet and means for removably attaching the superior chute end to a select Christmas tree branch or plant branch; and the inferior chute end comprises an ice outlet and means for selectively interfacing the inferior chute end with a Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure. Next, the user installs the ice chute on a Christmas tree or plant, which tree or plant comprises the select Christmas tree or plant branch and the Christmas tree base or basal plant structure. To install the ice chute on the Christmas tree or plant, the user, in optional order, attaches the superior chute end to the select Christmas tree or plant branch and interfaces the inferior chute end with the Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure. Lastly, the user deposits ice in the ice inlet, thus effectively channeling the ice or frozen water to the Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure, which frozen water or ice melts under ambient temperatures to provide a readily absorbable water supply for the Christmas tree or subject plant.
  • [0033]
    Typically, natural Christmas tree enthusiasts will obtain a fresh or live Christmas tree and place the Christmas tree in a Christmas tree stand comprising a water reservoir. Water is periodically added to the water reservoir in an attempt to prolong the Christmas tree life state. The present invention thus provides a Christmas tree irrigation system comprising, in combination, a Christmas tree water reservoir, an ice chute, and a dipstick as summarized above. The ice chute is installable from a select Christmas tree branch and extends in a substantially linear fashion to the Christmas tree water reservoir so as to provide a channel for directing ice cubes or ice chunks from the superior location to the inferior location. The ice chunks then melt under ambient temperatures to provide a readily absorbable water supply for the Christmas tree. The exterior surface of the ice chute is provided with ornamental markings so as to resemble a Christmas tree ornament. Specifically, the summarized Christmas tree ornament resembles an amusing ornamental character climbing an ornamental ladder from the water reservoir to the select Christmas tree branch. The conduit means or ice chute is thus effectively converted from an otherwise distracting eye sore to an amusing ornament as a means to increase the enjoyment of the Christmas tree.
  • [0034]
    Other objects of the present invention, as well as particular features, elements, and advantages thereof, will be elucidated in, or apparent from, the following description and the accompanying drawing figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0035]
    Other features of my invention will become more evident from a consideration of the following brief description of my patent drawings, as follows:
  • [0036]
    Figure No. 1 is a side view of the preferred embodiment of the ice chute assembly installed on a Christmas tree with parts removed to more clearly show the ice chute assembly in cooperative engagement with a combination Christmas tree stand and water reservoir.
  • [0037]
    Figure No. 2 is a fragmentary side view of the preferred embodiment of the ice chute assembly showing the inferior chute end and inferior dipstick portion in cooperative engagement with a combination Christmas tree stand and water reservoir.
  • [0038]
    Figure No. 3 is a perspective view of the ornamental ice chute assembly showing an ornamental character climbing an ornamental ladder design on the superior exterior surface of the ice chute.
  • [0039]
    Figure No. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the ornamental ice chute assembly showing a user depositing ice cubes in the ice inlet of the superior chute end of the ice chute.
  • [0040]
    Figure No. 5 is a fragmentary top plan view of the ice chute with parts removed to more clearly show the superior chute end and the inferior chute end of the ice chute.
  • [0041]
    Figure No. 6 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional side view of the ice chute with parts removed to more clearly show the superior chute end and the inferior chute end of the ice chute.
  • [0042]
    Figure No. 7 is a fragmentary end view of the ice chute showing the ice inlet of the superior chute end.
  • [0043]
    Figure No. 8 is a fragmentary end view of the ice chute showing the ice outlet of the inferior chute end.
  • [0044]
    Figure No. 9 is a top plan view of the preferred embodiment of the ice chute.
  • [0045]
    Figure No. 10 is a side plan view of the preferred embodiment of the ice chute.
  • [0046]
    Figure No. 11 is a side view of the dipstick in an assembled state.
  • [0047]
    Figure No. 12 is a side view of the dipstick in a disassembled state.
  • [0048]
    Figure No. 13 is an end view of the ice chute assembly showing the ice inlet of the superior chute end of the ice chute and the dipstick removably attached to the superior chute end.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0049]
    Referring now to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of the present invention concerns a Christmas tree irrigation system or plant watering device, wherein the Christmas tree irrigation system comprises, in combination, a Christmas tree water reservoir 10 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2, and an ice chute assembly 20 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1-4 and 13. Ice chute assembly 20 preferably comprises an ice chute 30 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1-10; and indicator means for indicating the presence or absence of water at a select plant stem region or basal plant structure or Christmas tree water reservoir 10 positioned adjacent a Christmas tree base 16. The indicator means may be further defined by comprising a dipstick 40 as illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, and 11-13. Ice chute assembly 20 is designed to channel ice cubes or cubic ice chunks from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch 15 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 4 to Christmas tree water reservoir 10 positioned adjacent a Christmas tree base 16 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2. In this last regard, it will be seen that ice chute assembly 20 is also designed to channel ice cubes or cubic ice chunks from a superior depository location adjacent a select plant branch to a select region in inferior adjacency to a plant stem or basal plant structure. Christmas tree water reservoir 10 preferably comprises an upper container lip or superior peripheral rim 12 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2 and an inferior matter-containment basin 14 as further illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2. As can be seen from an inspection of Figure Nos. 1 and 2, inferior matter-containment basin 14 is preferably designed to receive and retain Christmas tree base 16 as well as a readily absorbable water supply 18, as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2. Excellent results are obtainable when Christmas tree base 16 has sap seals removed. That is, water supply 18 is most readily absorbable when Christmas tree base 16 is provided with a fresh cut to remove any sap seal or when Christmas tree base 16 is provided with drilled or bored apertures so as to allow water supply 18 access to those portions of the Christmas tree base, which absorb water.
  • [0050]
    Ice chute 30 is essentially a chute sized and shaped for channeling water or ice 60 to Christmas tree water reservoir 10 or to a select region in inferior adjacency to a plant stem as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2. Ice chute 30 preferably comprises a rigid, substantially linear or straight conduit configuration and in this regard is preferably constructed from ⅛ inch walled pvc conduit. Ice chute 30 comprises a superior chute end 31 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 3, 4-7, 9, 10, and 13; an inferior chute end 34 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8-10; a conduit length 37 intermediate superior chute end 31 and inferior chute end 34 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 3, 9, and 10; an interior chute surface 38 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 3-8, and 13; and an exterior chute surface 39 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 3-10. Superior chute end 31 comprises a water or ice inlet 32 or opening as illustrated in Figure Nos. 4-7, 9, and 10; as well as means for suspending the upper chute end from a Christmas tree limb or attachment means for removably attaching superior chute end 31 to select Christmas tree branch 15 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 4 or a select plant branch. The attachment means for removably attaching superior chute end 31 to select Christmas tree branch 15 is preferably further defined by comprising an ornamental hook, an ornamental chain and hook combination 33, or other functionally equivalent removable attachment structure. For illustration purposes, ornamental chain and hook combination 33 is specifically illustrated in Figure Nos. 1, 3, 4, 9, and 10. In the preferred embodiment, ornamental chain and hook combination 33 comprises a 10 inch (25.4 cm) triangular link decorative chain. The decorative chain has a superior chute end attachment link 59, which attachment link 59 is fed through a chain-receiving aperture 59(a) at superior chute end 31 as generally illustrated in Figure Nos. 3 and 4. Attachment link 59 is specifically illustrated in Figure Nos. 5 and 6 and chain-receiving aperture 59(a) is specifically illustrated in Figure Nos. 5 and 7. Inferior chute end 34 comprises a water or ice outlet 35 or opening as well as means for selectively interfacing inferior chute end 34 with superior peripheral rim 12 of Christmas tree water reservoir 10 or a select plant stem region, the select plant stem region being in inferior adjacency to a plant stem. Conduit length 37 is preferably provided with a given linear measurement 37(a), which linear measurement 37(a) can be tailored according to the desires of the consumer or the Christmas tree type as specifically referenced in Figure No. 10.
  • [0051]
    Dipstick 40 is preferably of a knock down type as for storage or shipping and thus comprises a superior dipstick portion 41 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 11 and 12; an inferior dipstick portion 45 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 11 and 12, and means for reversibly connecting superior dipstick portion 41 to inferior dipstick portion 45. The means for removably attaching superior dipstick portion 41 to superior chute end 31 of ice chute 30 or releasable means may be preferably defined by comprising a clip 54, a clasp, or other functionally equivalent removable attachment structure. For illustration purposes, clip 54 is specifically illustrated in Figure Nos. 11-13.
  • [0052]
    Superior dipstick portion 41 and inferior dipstick portion are preferably constructed from diameter doll rod. Superior dipstick portion 41 preferably comprises a superior mouth end 42 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 4, 9, 11-13; an inferior conjugate end 43 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 11 and 12; and means for removably attaching superior dipstick portion 41 to superior chute end 31 of ice chute 30. Inferior dipstick portion 45 preferably comprises a superior conjugate end 46 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 11 and 12; and an inferior orifice end 47 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 3, 11, and 12. The means for reversibly connecting superior dipstick portion 41 to inferior dipstick portion 45 preferably comprises a coupling 48 wherein coupling 48 preferably comprises opposite female ends for receiving superior conjugate end 46 and inferior conjugate end 43 in juxtaposed relation as generally illustrated in Figure No. 11. Coupling 48 preferably has inch diameter female receptors adapted to snugly receive and release superior conjugate end 46 and inferior conjugate end 43. Inferior orifice end 47 preferably comprises water level indicia 61 for indicating the water level in Christmas tree water reservoir 10 as generally illustrated in Figure No. 2. When superior dipstick portion 41 is reversibly or removably connected to inferior dipstick portion 45 via coupling 48, dipstick 40 achieves an overall dipstick length 49 as illustrated in Figure No. 11. Dipstick length 49 has a greater magnitude than the given linear measurement 37(a) of ice chute 30. In this regard, it is specified that the preferable given linear measurement 37(a) of ice chute 30 is approximately 3 inches (80 cm) whereas the preferable dipstick length 49 is approximately 36 inches (91.4 cm).
  • [0053]
    The conduit length 37 of ice chute 30 preferably comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section as generally illustrated in Figure Nos. 7 and 8. For example, when provided an end view of ice chute 30, as illustrated in either Figure No. 7 or Figure No. 8, it will be seen that conduit length 37 has a substantially planar superior portion 50; a substantially planar inferior portion 52; and two substantially planar, laterally-opposite, substantially vertical portions 51, which form the walls of conduit length 37. Superior portion 50 is further illustrated in Figure Nos. 2-6, 9, and 10. Inferior portion 52 is further illustrated in Figure Nos. 2, 4, 6, and 10. Vertical portions 51 are further illustrated in Figure Nos. 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10. One of the vertical portions 51 is further illustrated in Figure No.6. As described earlier, superior portion 50, inferior portion 52 and vertical portions 51 are preferably constructed from continuously formed pvc conduit, more specifically defined by having a substantially rectangular lateral cross-section, thus forming a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute. The resulting substantially rectangular, lateral cross-sectional chute is designed to specifically channel ice cubes 60 or ice chunks that are cubic in form from a superior depository location or from ice inlet 32 to Christmas tree water reservoir 10 which typically lies in inferior adjacency to ice outlet 35 as generally illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2. It should be further noted that dipstick 40 is preferably removably attached to ice chute 30 such that dipstick 40 rests adjacent interior chute surface 38, inferior portion 52, and at the user's election, one of vertical portions 51 as is generally illustrated in Figure No. 13.
  • [0054]
    The means for selectively interfacing inferior chute end 34 of ice chute 30 with Christmas tree water reservoir 10 is preferably further defined by comprising a curved lower chute end or reservoir-engaging flange 53 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 8-10, and 13. Reservoir-engaging flange 53 essentially comprises a protruding edge of inferior portion 52 of ice chute 30 and is preferably formed by heat-treating inferior portion 52 such that the pvc material becomes soft and pliable. Reservoir-engaging flange 53 is then pulled from inferior portion 52 and directed into a lip flange configuration as illustrated in Figure Nos. 6 and 8. The pvc material is then allowed to cool and harden such that reservoir-engaging flange 53 is sized and shaped to provide a lip or flange to engage superior peripheral rim 12. It will be seen from an inspection of Figure Nos. 3, 5, 6, 9, and 10 that superior portion 50 terminates at inferior chute end 34 at a point such that superior portion 50 is of a shorter length than inferior portion 52. In this regard, it is contemplated that with a preferred linear measurement 37(a) of approximately 31 inches (80 cm), the superior portion 50 will approximate about 30 inches (76.2 cm) in length. Vertical portions 51 thus preferably terminate in a sloped or diagonally-cut configuration at inferior chute end 34 as generally illustrated in Figure Nos. 3 and 6.
  • [0055]
    It is further contemplated that the present invention preferably provides a novel, ornamentally-designed Christmas tree irrigation system or plant watering device whereby the entire exterior chute surface 39 comprises decorative or ornamental markings. In this regard, exterior chute surface 39 preferably comprises a visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration. This is because pvc conduit is typically processed or formed in either light reflective coloration as would be best represented by the color white or light absorbent coloration as would be best represented by the color black. Exterior surface 39 is then painted or silk-screened with a color other than that of the pvc material to produce the visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration. The visually appealing combination of light reflective coloration and light absorbent coloration is preferably arranged or defined to simulate a ladder-shaped design 55 on superior portion 50 of ice chute 30 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 3 and 4. Ice chute 30 is thus transformed from a rather unattractive conduit means to an ornamental ice chute 30 resembling a ladder leading from Christmas tree water reservoir 10 to select Christmas tree branch 15. Further, the ornamental ice chute 30 with ornamental ladder-shaped design 55 on superior portion 50 is preferably adorned with an ornamental figurine 56, such as a fireman (as specifically illustrated in Figure Nos. 1, 3, and 4), a chimney sweeper, a lamp lighter, an iceman, a Santa Claus figurine, a tree trimmer, a decorator (e.g. a figurine designed to hold a Christmas tree light string) or other similar Christmas season type figurine or character who may be found to occasionally climb a ladder. In this regard, it is contemplated that certain markets may anticipate or prefer biblical characters such as a “Jacob” figurine, who may be posed to climb a stairway to Heaven or a “Jesus” figurine, who may be posed as a carpenter. Further, in light of the German origins of the Christmas tree tradition, a Black Forest woodsman is contemplated. In any event, ornamental figurine 56 is preferably posed so as to create or give final effect to the resultant amusing Christmas ornament. The present invention is thus designed to serve the dual function of providing an amusing Christmas ornament comprising an ornamental character climbing an ornamental ladder as well as an effective Christmas tree irrigation system. As will be seen from an inspection of Figure Nos. 1, 2, and 4, the described dual functionality of the present invention thus provides an ornamentally camouflaged Christmas tree irrigation system, effective at delivering ice cubes 60 or other ice chunks of a cubic nature to a Christmas tree water reservoir, which ice cubes 60 will, under typical household conditions, melt or undergo a phase change from solid water to liquid water in ambient temperatures surrounding the Christmas tree water reservoir to provide a readily absorbable water supply for the outfitted Christmas tree.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED METHOD
  • [0056]
    Additionally, a novel method of channeling water or ice to a Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure is provided wherein the method comprises the initial step of providing ice chute 30 for channeling ice from a superior location to an inferior location. As earlier described, ice chute 30 comprises superior chute end 31, inferior chute end 34, and conduit length 37 intermediate superior chute end 31 and inferior chute end 34. As earlier described, superior chute end 31 comprises ice inlet 32 and means for removably attaching superior chute end 31 to select Christmas tree branch 15 or a select plant branch. Further, inferior chute end 34 comprises ice outlet 35 and means for selectively interfacing inferior chute end 34 with Christmas tree water reservoir 10 or basal plant structure or a select plant stem region, the select plant stem region being in inferior adjacency to a plant stem. The user next installs ice chute 30 on a plantor Christmas tree 58 as generally illustrated in Figure No. 1, which plant or Christmas tree comprises a select plant branch or select Christmas tree branch 15 and a select plant stem region or Christmas tree base 16. To install ice chute 30 on the select plant or Christmas tree 58, the user, in optional order, attaches superior chute end 31 to a select plant branch or select Christmas tree branch 15 as illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 4; and interfaces inferior chute end 34 with the select plant stem region or Christmas tree water reservoir 10 by placing or hooking reservoir-engaging flange 53 over superior peripheral rim 12. Lastly, the user preferably deposits ice cubes 60 or ice chunks of a cubic nature in ice inlet 32 as generally illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 4. By depositing ice cubes 60 in ice inlet 32, the user may thus effectively channel ice cubes 57 and the like to the select plant stem region or basal plant structure or Christmas tree water reservoir 10 as generally illustrated in Figure Nos. 1 and 2. As earlier described, ice cubes 60 will, under typical household conditions, melt under ambient temperatures surrounding Christmas tree water reservoir 10 to provide a readily absorbable water supply as referenced at 18 for hydrating the outfitted Christmas tree.
  • [0057]
    Typically, fresh or live Christmas tree enthusiasts will obtain a Christmas tree and place the Christmas tree in a Christmas tree stand comprising a Christmas tree water reservoir such as Christmas tree water reservoir 10. Water is periodically added to the water reservoir in an attempt to prolong the natural Christmas tree life state. The present invention thus provides a plant or Christmas tree irrigation system comprising, in combination, a Christmas tree water reservoir, an ice chute, and a dipstick as summarized above. The ice chute is installable from a select plant or Christmas tree branch and extends in a substantially linear fashion to the select plant stem region or basal plant structure or Christmas tree water reservoir so as to provide a channel for directing ice cubes or ice chunks from the superior location to the inferior location. The pieces of ice then melt under ambient temperatures to provide a readily absorbable water supply for the plant or Christmas tree. The exterior surface of the ice chute is provided with decorations or ornamentation so as to resemble a plant or Christmas tree ornament, the Christmas tree ornament resembling an amusing character climbing an ornamental ladder from the water reservoir or basal plant structure to the select plant or Christmas tree branch. The conduit means or ice chute is thus effectively converted from an otherwise distracting eye sore to an amusing ornament as a means to increase the enjoyment of the Christmas tree.
  • [0058]
    It will thus be seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree irrigation system or plant watering system, which comprises an ice chute assembly for channeling ice from a superior depository location adjacent a select Christmas tree branch or plant branch to an inferior outlet location, namely, a water reservoir or basal plant structure. In this regard, it will be seen that the present invention provides a novel means of delivering more easily managed or handled solid ice portions to a Christmas tree reservoir or basal plant structure in contradistinction to less easily managed liquid water portions. It will be further seen that the present invention provides an ice chute assembly comprising in combination, a rigid, substantially linear ice chute for channeling deposited ice to a Christmas tree water reservoir or select plant stem region and a knockdown type dipstick housed within the ice chute for monitoring the water level in the Christmas tree water reservoir or for monitoring the presence or absence of water at the select plant stem region. Further, it will be seen that the present invention provides an ice chute wherein the conduit length comprises a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section for channeling cubic ice chunks or ice cubes, which cubic ice chunks are typically quite easily managed and produced by common household refrigeration means. Still further, it will be seen that the present invention provides an ice chute assembly wherein the exterior surface of the ice chute comprises decorative or ornamental markings, specifically arranged to resemble a ladder-shaped design upon which may be positioned a posed ornamental figurine so as to create an amusing Christmas ornament, the amusing Christmas ornament being that of a character climbing the ladder-shaped design. In this regard, it will be seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree irrigation system wherein the conduit means is completely camouflaged or disguised in an ornamental dressing to as to increase the enjoyment or overall ornamental effect of the outfitted Christmas tree.
  • [0059]
    It will be further seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree or plant watering device that provides conduit means for delivering water in a frozen state or pieces of ice from a superior depository location to an inferior outlet location so as to provide the basal plant structure with a more easily controlled moisture source to promote a prolonged life state. It will be further seen that the present invention provides a low cost Christmas tree or plant watering device, which is less cumbersome to practice, enables the user to deposit either more easily handled ice chunks or less easily handled liquid water in the described superior depository so as to allow the water, whether frozen or unfrozen, to travel under gravitational forces through the conduit means to the Christmas tree water reservoir or basal plant structure located at an inferior location relative to the superior depository. It will be further seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree watering device or plant watering device designed for receiving and channeling ice cubes or chunks, which more readily enables users to avoid liquid water spillage from deposit containers onto delicate gift items, water sensitive packages and the like located beneath the deposit site. Still further, it will be seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree watering device designed for receiving and channeling pieces of ice, which readily enables users to avoid spilling highly conductive liquid water onto electrically live items having dangerous electrical currents running therethrough.
  • [0060]
    Further, it will be seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree or plant watering device, which comprises readily configurable ornamental attributes. In this regard, it will be seen that the present invention provides a Christmas tree or plant watering device comprising conduit means, which may be readily enhanced to resemble an ornamental configuration, thus increasing the overall ornamental effect of the watering device. In other words, it will be readily seen that present invention provides a Christmas tree or plant watering device in which the conduit means are not observably distinct from the ornamental aspects of the disclosure, thereby increasing the overall ornamental effect of the device, whereby the enjoyment of the Christmas tree or select plant may be increased.
  • [0061]
    While the above description contains much specificity, this specificity should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of the invention. For example, it is contemplated that ice chute need not comprise a continuous, substantially rectangular, lateral cross section. So long as the ice chute is capable of channeling ice from a superior location to an inferior location, the ice chute successfully fulfills its purpose. In this regard, it is contemplated that the ice chute may comprise a substantially circular lateral cross section. Being sized and shaped to receive pieces or chunks or cubes of ice, an ice chute that is capable of channeling deposited ice from a superior location to an inferior location in the described manner is believed to be within the spirit of the present invention. In this regard, an ice chute comprising a substantially circular lateral cross section may still be marked with ornamentation or decoration to achieve an amusing Christmas tree or plant ornament. For example, a helical staircase may be silk-screened onto the exterior surface in such a fashion as to encircle the entire conduit length from the superior chute end to the inferior chute end. Alternatively, candy cane type markings may be applied to the exterior surface in a similar helical fashion. So long as the exterior surface may be completely adorned with ornamentation to increase the visual appeal of the conduit means, the present invention is achieved.
  • [0062]
    Accordingly, although the invention has been described by reference to a preferred embodiment and preferred method, it is not intended that the novel device and method be limited thereby, but that modifications thereof are intended to be included as falling within the broad scope and spirit of the foregoing disclosure, the following claims and the appended drawings.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7374657Dec 23, 2004May 20, 2008Chevron Usa Inc.Production of low sulfur, moderately aromatic distillate fuels by hydrocracking of combined Fischer-Tropsch and petroleum streams
US8667733 *Aug 10, 2011Mar 11, 2014James L. BeckCut tree hydrating system
US20060138022 *Dec 23, 2004Jun 29, 2006Chevron U.S.A. Inc.Production of low sulfur, moderately aromatic distillate fuels by hydrocracking of combined Fischer-Tropsch and petroleum streams
US20060138024 *Dec 23, 2004Jun 29, 2006Chevron U.S.A. Inc.Production of low sulfur, moderately aromatic distillate fuels by hydrocracking of combined fischer-tropsch and petroleum streams
US20070023606 *Jul 27, 2005Feb 1, 2007Ralf ZimmermannChristmas tree stand with foot actuated clamp
US20130036667 *Aug 10, 2011Feb 14, 2013James L. BeckCut tree hydrating system
US20140101994 *Oct 16, 2012Apr 17, 2014Loren ShapiroConformable Display Stand Apparatus and Method
Classifications
U.S. Classification47/40.5
International ClassificationA01G27/00, A47G33/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47G33/12, A01G27/006, A47G2033/1286, A47G2033/1293
European ClassificationA47G33/12, A01G27/00F