Title:
Patio tropical tree
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An artificial tropical tree assembly for insertion into a table, preferably a patio table, is provided. The artificial palm tree assembly comprises a palm head comprising a crown element and a plurality of tree elements attached to the crown element of the palm head. The trunk element of the tree assembly is preferably formed of two parts—an upper part and a lower part. The upper part is adapted to have at least a portion thereof be raised or lowered out of the lower part to adjust the height of the tree for patio table heights and this accommodate the tree assembly for use with any patio table. The lighting can be string lighting and can be LED lights, miniature lights or spotlights (near or at the top of the tree trunk).



Inventors:
Barthelmess, Peter (Cerritos, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/800202
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
05/04/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/469, 108/50.11, 428/20
International Classes:
A41G1/00; A47B37/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AUSTIN, AARON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard, Klar B. (145 WILLIS AVENUE, SUITE NO. 6, MINEOLA, NY, 11501, US)
Claims:
1. An artificial tropical tree assembly for insertion into an article of furniture preferably for outdoor use, comprising: an artificial tropical tree having a trunk element, said trunk element having a portion thereof adapted for installation through an opening in a top of said article of furniture; and a tropical looking head of leaves.

2. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said article of furniture is a table.

3. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said article of furniture is a patio table.

4. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said article of furniture is a bar.

5. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said article of furniture is a counter.

6. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said article of furniture is an outdoor kitchen table.

7. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said trunk element is formed of a pole having an upper part.

8. The tree assembly according to claim 7 herein said pole of said trunk element has a lower part.

9. The tree assembly according to claim wherein said head is resembles a palm.

10. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said head is resembles a natural palm.

11. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said head is resembles that of a banana tree.

12. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said head is resembles a windmill palm.

13. The tree assembly according to claim 8 wherein said upper part is partially inserted within lower part and is movable therein so that said upper part can be raised or lowered in order to adjust the height of said trunk element for any article of furniture.

14. The tree assembly according to claim 8 wherein said upper part is adjusted by said lower part by at least one screw located at a side of said tree trunk so that when said screw is loosened said upper part can be raised or lowered and the said screw can be tightened to secure said height of said pole in place.

15. The trunk element according to claim 8 wherein at least one said upper part and said lower part is adapted to be covered by a sleeve having a wood like surface appearance.

16. The tree assembly according to claim 15 wherein said sleeve is covered with natural bark.

17. The tree assembly according to claim 15 wherein said bark is banana tree bark.

18. The tree assembly according to claim 15 wherein said sleeve covering has a fake wood covering.

19. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said head of leaves are formed of leaves that are removably affixed to a crown head of said tree assembly.

20. The tree assembly according to claim 19 wherein said crown head has a plurality of finger-like shaped hollowed receptacles adapted to receive said leaves therein.

21. The tree assembly according to claim 1 wherein said tree assembly includes lights thereon.

22. The tree assembly according to claim 21 wherein said lights includes a string of miniature lights wrapped about said trunk element and said head of leaves.

23. The tree assembly according to claim 21 wherein said lights include spotlights located near said top third of said tree trunk and swivably connected thereto.

24. The tree assembly according to claim 21 wherein said lights includes a string of LED lights wrapped about said trunk element and said head of leaves.

25. The artificial palm tree assembly and patio table set of claim 3, wherein said patio table is a steel mesh patio table and wherein said trunk element is at least one of the following: a metal pole or plastic pole laminated with plastic material thereon which imitates the tree trunk of a palm tree, a metal or plastic pole wrapped with brown wood simulation polyvinyl chloride material thereon, or a metal or plastic pole having a wood simulation chemical sprayed thereon.

26. The artificial palm tree assembly of claim 1, wherein said tree assembly includes a crown element comprises an outer shell and an inner tube, said inner tube is located within said outer casing of the crown element.

27. The artificial palm tree assembly of claim 26, wherein the bottom area of the crown element comprises an opening through which a portion of the inner tube located within the outer shell of the crown element is able to extend through such that a bottom open end of the inner tube is able to slide onto a connection area located within the top end of the trunk element for connecting the palm head to the trunk element.

28. The tree assembly according to claim 17 wherein said trunk element is formed of a pole has an upper part.

29. The tree assembly according to claim 28 wherein said trunk element has a lower part.

30. The tree assembly according to claim 29 wherein said upper part is partially inserted within said lower part and is movable therein so that said upper part can be raised or lowered in order to adjust the height of said trunk element for any patio table.

31. The tree assembly according to claim 30 wherein said upper part is adjusted by said lower part by at least screw located at a side of said tree trunk so that when said screw is loosened said upper part can be raised or lowered and the said screw can be tightened to secure said height of said pole in place.

32. The trunk element according to claim 29 wherein at least one said upper part and said lower part is adapted to be covered by a sleeve having a wood like surface appearance.

33. The tree assembly according to claim 29 wherein said sleeve is covered with bark.

34. The tree assembly according to claim 29 wherein said bark resembles banana tree bark.

35. The tree assembly according to claim 32 wherein said sleeve covering has a fake wood covering.

37. A method of installing an artificial tropical tree assembly within an opening of a table for providing a decorative effect to a table, comprising: attaching a bottom area of a crown element of a tropical looking head of leaves to a connection area within a top open end of a trunk element for connecting the palm head and trunk element to each other, said palm head comprising said crown element and a plurality of tree elements attached to crown element of the palm head, each of said tree elements comprising a branch having a plurality of artificial tropical tree leaves thereon; and placing a bottom end of the trunk element through said opening within said table.

38. The method of claim 37, wherein a base portion is placed underneath the table prior to placing the bottom end of the trunk element through the opening in said table.

39. The method according to claim 37 wherein said trunk element is formed of a pole having an upper part and a lower part.

40. The method according to claim 37 wherein said head is resembles a natural palm.

41. The method according to claim 37 wherein said head is resembles a banana tree.

42. The method according to claim 37 wherein said head is resembles a windmill palm.

43. The method according to claim 37 wherein said upper part is partially inserted within lower part and is movable therein so that said upper part can be raised or lowered in order to adjust the height of said trunk element for any patio table.

44. The method according to claim 37 wherein said upper part is adjusted by said lower part by at least screw located at a side of said tree trunk so that when said screw is loosened said upper part can be raised or lowered and the said screw can be tightened to secure said height of said pole in place.

45. The method according to claim 38 wherein at least one said upper part and said lower part is adapted to be covered by a sleeve having a wood like surface appearance.

46. The method according to claim 45 wherein said sleeve is covered with natural bark.

47. The method according to claim 46 wherein said bark is banana tree bark.

48. The method according to claim 45 wherein said sleeve covering has a fake wood covering.

49. The method according to claim 37 wherein said head of leaves are formed of leaves that are removably affixed to branches of said tree assembly.

50. The method according to claim 49 wherein each branch of said branches is removably affixed to an opening in a top of said trunk element of said tree assembly.

51. The method according to claim 37 wherein said tree assembly includes lights thereon.

52. The tree assembly according to claim 51 wherein said lights includes a string of miniature lights wrapped about said trunk element and said head of leaves.

53. The tree assembly according to claim 51 wherein said lights include spotlights located near said top of said tree trunk.

54. The tree assembly according to claim 51 wherein said lights includes a string of LED lights wrapped about said trunk element and said head of leaves.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a non-provisional application of a provisional application Ser. No. 60/798,275 by Peter Barthelmess filed May 5, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to artificial palm trees for being inserted within tables, such as patio tables.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Artificial trees are known in the art. For Example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,869,198 B1 to Garza purports to disclose a portable artificial palm tree in a planter, with a plurality of artificial coconut lights to illuminate the portable palm tree in the planter. U.S. Pat. No. 6,458,435 B1 to Lai purports to disclose an artificial tree having a central trunk, a number of main branches suspended from an upper portion of the trunk in a downwardly and outwardly inclined orientation, and a pre-formed tree top section extending upwardly from the upper portion of the trunk. Means, such as electric lights are mentioned in Lai for illuminating the artificial tree. Further, U.S. Pat. No. 6,030,670 to Chang purports to disclose an artificial decorating tree with several hollow joints, sockets, connectors, branches, embellishing lamps and a set of electric cords. In Chang, the decorating tree is assembled with plug-in joints and internal wiring coupled to lamps supported from branches. Further, U.S. Pat. No. 4,734,301 to McKinney purports to disclose decorative artificial evergreen trees for use on festive winter occasions such as Christmas.

Despite the above advances in the artificial tree art, there still exists a need in the art for an artificial palm tree which inserts into an opening within a table such as patio table, thereby providing a decorative effect to the patio table and environment in which is the table is located, such as a patio deck, building lobby, etc. For example, due to their realistic look, these artificial palms within the patio table can create a pleasant tropical mood, both outdoors or indoors and even in the middle of winter. These artificial palms are also very easy to maintain, since there is no need to water them. Also, these artificial palms do not attract insects either and can exist in environments normally not conducive to palm trees.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an artificial tree assembly, preferably a tropical tree assembly, for insertion into an article of furniture in particular one intended for outdoor use such as by way of non-limiting illustrative example a table. It is intended to provide a tropical outdoor look where instead of an umbrella inserted into a patio table the artificial tree is inserted into a patio table in allocation such has the backyard of someone's home. It is understood that the invention can us3ed with any outdoor article of furniture such as a bar, an outdoor kitchen table, a cabinet or any other article of furniture that has an opening in its top surface adapted to receive the tree trunk of the present invention therein.

Further the invention provides for adjusting the height of the trunk element of the tree assembly to adjust for the heights of different patio tables. This can be done by one or more screw adjustment on a side of the lower pole part so that the upper pole part can be moved upward or downward from or into respectively the bottom pole part. This telescoping projection of the upper pole part can thus adjust the height of the pole for different heights of patio tables. The tree assembly can be sold with a table or without one. In addition lighting can be provided to provide illumination and also decorative illumination to the tropical tree assembly. The lighting can be string lighting and can be LED lights, miniature lights or spotlights (near or at the top of the tree trunk).

The artificial palm tree assembly comprises a palm head comprising a crown element and a plurality of leaves where each leaf is attached to a respective finger-like receptacle of a crown element of the palm head. In addition, the artificial palm assembly further comprises a trunk element adapted for installation through an opening in the top of the table.

The palm head may be connected to the tree element in a variety of ways. The palm head may be connected to the trunk element via an attachment formed between a bottom area of the crown element and the top end of the trunk element.

Alternatively the leaf structure may include a plastic piece sandwiched between colored fabric or cloth elements with wire embedded in the plastic piece where the wire material extends out of the leaf is removably attached and inserted into a branch which branch is then inserted into an opening in the tree trunk element. The branch element has a male connector and the trunk element opening has a female connector for insertion therein. These branches are removably attached in this manner.

Alternatively, the leaves may be affixed by adhesive material or other commercially known permanent affixing methods to a branch where the branch is then adhesively or otherwise permanently affixed to the trunk element.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, an artificial palm tree assembly and patio table set is provided. The artificial palm tree assembly and patio table set comprises a palm head comprising a crown element and a plurality of tree elements. The crown element comprises an outer shell, a bottom area and an inner tube located with the outer shell of the crown element. In addition, the tree elements are wrapped around the outer shell of the crown element. Each of the tree elements comprise a branch comprising twisted metal wires with a plurality of artificial palm tree leaves thereon. The artificial palm tree assembly and patio table set further comprises a trunk element comprising one of the following: a metal pole, a plastic pole, a wooden pole, a hollowed out wooden tree trunk. Moreover, the trunk element is divided into at least an upper portion and a lower portion, with the upper portion of the trunk element having a top open end. The palm head is adapted to connect to the trunk element via the inner tube located within the outer shell of the crown element, extending through an opening in a bottom end of the crown element such that a bottom open end of the inner tube is able to slide onto a connection area within the top end of the trunk element. In addition the upper portion of the trunk element has a bottom end adapted for sliding onto an insert located within the top end of the lower portion of the trunk element for connecting the lower and upper portions to one another. Additionally, the artificial palm tree assembly and patio table set further comprises a base portion attached to the bottom end of the lower portion of the trunk element. The base portion is connected to the lower portion of the trunk element via an open bottom end portion of the lower portion of the trunk element being adapted for sliding onto an insert located within the top open end of the base portion, for connecting the lower and upper portions to one another. Moreover, the base portion is additionally secured to the lower portion of the trunk element by a plurality of base fasteners. The artificial palm tree assembly and patio table set further comprises a patio table having a table top supported by a plurality of legs, with the patio table top having an opening therein which is adapted to receive a portion of the trunk element there through. The patio table further comprises a pole fastener assembly connected thereto beneath the table top for securing the trunk element within the opening of the patio table.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention trunk element may be formed of a two part pole structure and have sleeve like elements placed over the upper and bottom parts of the pole where the sleeve like elements have the appearance of a tree trunk. The sleeve like elements may be formed of actual wood or may be made formed by any simulated materials such as a mixture of resin and gesso powder.

The tree assembly may resemble a banana tree, a windmill palm tree or a natural palm tree. It is preferable for the banana tree structure that the banana palm leave are removably affixed in any known manner including as previously described affixed by adhesive means or otherwise to the branches and that each branch is formed as one piece and removably affixed to the trunk element. It is preferable to have the banana trunk element covered with real or artificial banana bark which would be placed on the sleeve like elements that are then placed on the pole of the trunk element. The branches are preferably made of plastic. The branches of the natural palm tree assembly are preferably removable and the branches preferably removably affixed to the tree trunk element. The leaves can be constructed in any known manner. The leaves can be made of colored fabric or cloth with a plastic frame sandwiched between the cloth pieces of the leaf structure and wire embedded in the plastic frame. The wire embedded can extend out of the frame and inserted in a branch of the tree structure. The plastic frame can be made by injection molding.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, a method of installing an artificial palm tree assembly within an opening of a table for providing a decorative effect to a table is provided. The method comprises attaching a bottom area of a crown element of a palm head to a connection area within a top open end of a trunk element for connecting the palm head and trunk element to each other. The palm head comprises the crown element and a plurality of tree elements attached to crown element of the palm head. Each of the tree elements comprises a branch having a plurality of artificial palm tree leaves thereon. The method further comprises placing a bottom end of the trunk element through the opening within the table.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates the tree assembly of the present invention in unassembled form;

FIG. 1A illustrates a natural palm leaf adapted to be inserted into a finger-like receptacle of a crown head of a tree trunk on accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1B illustrates a fan or windmill palm leaf adapted to be inserted into a finger-like receptacle of a crown head of a tree trunk on accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1C shows a metal pole structure with a wood or simulated wood sleeve placed there-over and which forms part of the tree trunk in accordance of the present invention;

FIG. 1D shows the tree trunk of the present invention in which the metal pole in FIG. 1C is covered with a plastering material such as gesso and with spotlights attached to the tree trunk;

FIG. 1E shows the tree trunk of an embodiment of the present invention illustrating how the leaves are inserted into the finger-like receptacles of the crown element of the tree trunk of the present invention;

FIGS. 1F and 1G show how leaves having insertions ends of type a and type B are inserted into finger-like receptacles of type A and type B, respectively;

FIG. 2 illustrates a portion of the tree assembly of the present invention showing the wood like sleeve elements that are placed on the upper part and lower part of the pole of the trunk element and the stand;

FIG. 3 shows a lighting string wrapped around the trunk element and the power cord wire extending out of the top part of the pole and two screw elements for adjusting the height of the trunk element for different sized patio tables;

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention showing the natural palm tree assembly fully assembled and inserted into a patio table and illuminated;

FIG. 5 illustrates the embodiment of the present invention showing the banana tree without illumination inserted into a patio table;

FIG. 6 is an embodiment of the present invention showing the banana tree assembly assembled;

FIG. 7 shows a branch of the banana tree embodiment of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an embodiment of the present invention showing the natural palm tree assembly;

FIG. 9 shows a branch of the natural palm tree embodiment of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an embodiment of the present invention showing the windmill palm tree assembly assembled;

FIG. 11 shows a branch of the windmill palm tree embodiment of FIG. 12;

FIG. 12 shows one type of stand for the present invention;

FIG. 13 shows how the lower part of the pole of the trunk element is connected to the stand of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 shows the lower part of the pole attached to the stand of FIG. 12 and the two height adjusting knobs for raising or lowering the upper part out of or into, respectively, the lower part of the pole;

FIG. 15 illustrates the wood like sleeve being placed over the lower part of the pole;

FIG. 16 shows the power cord extending out of the bottom portion of the upper part of the pole;

FIG. 17 shows an embodiment of the tree assembly of the present invention in assembled form;

FIG. 18 shows how the bottom metal pole portion of the tree trunk is connected to the stand in an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 19 shows how a wood or a wood-like sleeve covering is placed over the bottom metal portion of the tree trunk of FIG. 18.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1. shows an artificial tree assembly 1, preferably a tropical tree assembly, inserted into a patio table. The trunk element of the tree assembly is preferably formed of two part—an upper part 5 and a lower part 10. The upper part 5 is adapted to have at least a portion thereof be raised or lowered out of the lower part 10 to adjust the height of the tree for patio table heights and thus accommodate the tree assembly for use with any furniture article including but not limited to a patio table. There is at least one screw or knob 7, preferably on the side of the lower part of the pole for adjusting the height of the pole by permitting the upper part of the pole to extend further out. This adjustment helps adjust the tree trunk element for tables of different heights. The tree assembly can be sold with a table or without one. In addition lighting can be provided to provide illumination and also decorative illumination to the tropical tree assembly. The lighting can be string lighting and can be LED lights, miniature lights or spotlights 11 (near or at the top of the tree trunk see FIG. 1E).

The invention trunk element may be formed of a two part pole structure and have sleeve like elements 16 (see FIG. 1) placed over the upper and bottom parts of the pole where the sleeve like elements 16 have the appearance of a tree trunk. The sleeve like elements may be formed of actual wood or may be made formed by any materials that simulate a wood like appearance such as a mixture of resin and gesso powder or any other plaster material.

The artificial palm tree assembly comprises a tropical head of leaves 8 comprising a crown element 17 (see FIG. 1D) and a plurality of leaves attached to the crown element of the tropical head 8.

The crown element 17 is preferably formed of plastic material and has a plurality of finger-like elements 19 that are hollow therein and adapted to each receive one of the leaves 21 within each of the fingers (se FIGS. 1D and 1E). In the embodiments for the umbrella 21b and the natural palm trees 21a, the leaves 21 can be inserted in a predetermined arrangement where each leaf 21, for example for the natural palm embodiment, would belong in a specified finger-like receptacle 19, so that a leaf labeled A would be inserted into finger-like receptacle A of the crown element and a leaf B would be inserted into finger-like receptacle B, etc. (see FIGS. 1E, 1F and 1G). It is possible for there to be more than one A and B arrangement in each crown head to provide for an aesthetic appearance of certain natural palm leaves at certain finger-like receptacles on the crown head and other natural palm leaves at another receptacles of the crown head. Where the leaves may vary in thickness, shape and appearance from each other.

The tree assembly may resemble a banana tree, a windmill palm tree or a natural palm tree or any other palm tree. It is preferable for the tree assembly that the leaves are removably affixed in any known manner including as previously described or else they can be affixed by adhesive means or otherwise to the branches and that each branch is formed as one piece and removably affixed to the trunk element. It is preferable to have the banana trunk element covered with real or artificial banana bark which would be placed on the sleeve like elements that are then placed on the pole of the trunk element. The branches are preferably made of plastic. The branches of the natural palm tree assembly are preferably removable and the branches preferably removably affixed to the tree trunk element. The leaves can be constructed in any known manner. The leaves can be made of any material including but not limited to plastic material or of colored fabric or cloth with a plastic frame sandwiched between the cloth pieces of the leaf structure and wire embedded in the plastic frame. The wire embedded can extend out of the frame and inserted in a branch of the tree structure. The plastic frame can be made by injection molding.

The natural palm leaves 21a and windmill leaves 21b have an insertion end that fits into the finger-like receptacles of the crown head 17. and are removably connected thereto (see FIGS. 1A, 1B. 1E, 1F and 1G). The Banana Palm leaves are preferably permanently affixed and/or integral with the finger-like elements of the crown head for the Banana Palm tree embodiment of the present invention. In addition the finger-like receptacles preferably will extend down through the upper third of the tree trunk of he present invention.

The tree trunk element, as previously described, is preferably formed as a pole 23 adapted to receive upper and lower sleeve shaped decorative elements resembling wood thereon (see FIG. 1C). A middle portion of the pole is adapted to be received within an opening in the table top of the patio table. The bottom portion of the pole may or may not have the bottom sleeve-like element place thereon. The power cord 25 is fed within the upper sleeve and along the upper portion of the pole. The cord extends out of the upper element above the where the pole table top opening is located and the wire can then be placed in an outlet or a power adaptor or any other electrical power source.

The tree trunk is preferably constructed as follows: The trunk is initially formed as a metal pole 23 having a top surface from which preferably extends two prongs 27 (FIG. 1C). A wood or simulated wood portion 24 surrounds preferably the upper two thirds of the metal pole of the tree trunk A set of spotlights 11 one at each end of the diameter of the trunk is mounted preferably two thirds of the distance up from the bottom of the trunk by having a metal part extend through a hole through the trunk and having each spotlight swivably connected to each of the extending ends of the metal part (FIG. 1D). The wires from the spotlights and for any string lights can be extended downward along side of the wood or simulated wood surface of the trunk (FIG. 1D). The trunk is then plastered with a substance such as gesso after it has been mixed with water to form a plaster substance and then applied to the surface of the wood or simulated wood of the trunk. Layers of this gesso can be applied for a number of coatings covering the tree trunk. Palm greenery can then be applied to the gesso coatings and painted to give the tropical tree trunk a more natural appearance. The bottom of the trunk e.g. the metal pole 23 can at its bottom surface be connected to a stand such as an X shaped stand 26 (see FIG. 18). A wood or wood-like sleeve 28 is preferably placed over the bottom part of the metal pole to give it a tree trunk appearance as shown in FIG. 19.

The knobs or screws 7 or any other threadable adjusting mechanism, as shown in FIG. 18 on the tree trunk can raise or lower the upper portion of the tree trunk with respect to the lower portion of the tree trunk to adjust the trunk for height depending on the height of the patio table the tree trunk is inserted through. Also to adjust the spotlights are swivably mounted on the tree trunk so as to be swivably adjusted so as to either lower the spotlights for better lighting during dining or raise the spotlights for an aesthetic appearance.

The embodiments described above are not meant to be exclusive. Many other variations of the present invention would be obvious to those skilled in the art, and are contemplated to be within the scope of the appended claims.