How to fix a broken tree stand

Fixing Our Broken Christmas Tree

Fixing Our Broken Christmas Tree

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

So today was the day we were going to set up the Christmas tree for this year. Unfortunately, after so many times hauling it up and down the stairs each year, the top part of the Christmas tree got bent one too many times and broke off 1.500" into the top most piece.

After analyzing the situation, I realized that I couldn't just weld the pipe together because there was too much greenery, string and hot glue from when they originally made the tree so I had to look for an alternative.

After some thought I figured it would be a perfect project for my lathe. I had been sick all week and hadn't been out in the shop at all and I still wasn't 100% but my wife and kids were eagerly waiting inside so I cut off the broken piece of steel pipe out of the center of the tree and cleaned it up, then hauled out a piece of 5/8" cold rolled steel, turned a 1. 500" length of the one side down to 0.450" and a 1.500" length of the other side down to just a little under 5/8". Lastly, I drilled a 1.500" deep hole at 0.450" on the thicker end, hammered this newly finished piece of metal into the Christmas tree pipe and voila, the tree was fixed.

After I put the tree back together I realized that two of the rubber feet had fallen off the tree stand which we were going to fix for the last few years but never got around to, so I figured I might as well take another 20 minutes and make 4 new tree stand feet out of teflon. That part was pretty easy: Clean up the pipe, turn 0.500" of one side down to 0.450" and 0.250" of the other side to about 0.750". All I then had to do is hammer the 4 little feet into the tree stand and now I can slide the tree around on my hard wood floor without scratching it up.


The top end of the bottom piece of the tree

Measuring the width

The broken off piece of pipe that was part of the top of the tree

Where the bending had taken its toll

Rounding/stretching the cleaned up piece

Close-up of the cleaned up piece of pipe at the center of the tree

5/8" cold rolled steel

Turning one side down to make a press-fit into the inside of the pipe for the top piece

Turning the other side down just a bit to clean up the metal

Drilling the larger end of the piece to fit over top of the protruding piece of metal that belongs to the bottom of the tree

Close-up of the drilled out piece (1. 500" deep)

The finished adapter to fix the broken off piece of pipe

The tree stand with the last two rubber feet removed

After the feet were cleaned up a bit

Turning down some 1" teflon

The small end (0.450") will get pressed into each foot of the tree stand

One of the finished feet

Another view

The tree stand with 4 new anti-scratch feet

The finished tree with the creative help of the kiddos

Metal Band Saw
Metal Lathe and accessories
Cordless drill
Tapered chisel

3" of 5/8" cold rolled steel
4" of 1" teflon

$0. 00



Tree looks great and should last another 10 years!

Newer Post Older Post Home

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)

Repairing Storm Damaged Trees | Tree Care Kit

Melvin R. Koelling Department of Forestry Michigan State University,
Russell P. Kidd Department of Forestry Michigan State University


When storms strike, along with damage to property such as houses, power lines, and commercial buildings, they may cause damage to trees in the urban forest. There are six main types of storm damage to trees: 1) blow-over, 2) stem failure, 3) crown twist, 4) root failure, 5) branch failure, and 6) lightning. Each type is the result of a complex and interactive mix of tree problems and climate.

Damage is often relatively minor with only the smallest braches of the tree being injured. Usually damages of this type result in little or no permanent damage to the tree. All that is required is clean up of the broken twigs and branches and perhaps some light pruning to restore a pleasing shape.

Severe damage consisting of large broken branches, split crotches and removal of bark, and splitting or splintering of the trunk can also occur. Strong winds, lightning and heavy ice storms are the most probable causes. When a tree is severely damaged, the first question that must be answered is: “Is the condition of the tree such to make keeping it worthwhile?” Take the time and effort to save a tree only if a substantial portion of the tree remains intact and if, when repairs are made, the tree will still be attractive and of value to the property owner.

Treating the tree

Assuming the decision has been made to repair the tree, the next question is: “Am I capable of repairing the damage myself or should I seek professional help?” Unless experienced in the use of such equipment and comfortable working off the ground, it may be best to have the work performed by a competent professional. Once it has been determined that a tree can be salvaged there are certain procedures that one should follow.

  • Assess the damage. Some branches may be broken and hanging in the tree, others may be partially attached, and in some cases, entire forks may be split.
  • Plan which branches must be removed and where the removal cut should be made.
  • Remove all damaged branches at the nearest lateral branch, bud, or main stem and not in the middle of a branch.

Branch Removal

Branches smaller than 3-inches in diameter can be removed using pruning shears or a pole-pruner. Sharp, properly aligned shears or pruners will make a clean cut, not crush or tear bark tissue and reduce cleanup time. Use a sharp saw to remove larger branches. If a power saw is used, a safety rope and harness are essential. The most efficient and least damaging way to remove large branches without causing further damage to the tree is the 3-cut procedure. The first cut is the undercut. From the underside, saw approximately 12 to 18 inches from the main stem or branch to which the damage limb is attached. Cut into the branch about 1 to 1½ inches deep and withdraw the saw blade before it begins to bind. For the second cut, or over cut, saw approximately 2 to 3 inches beyond the undercut and continue until the branch is removed. The final or flush cut is made to remove the remaining stub. Saw in the natural depression flush with the trunk or branches. Careless pruning can result in death of the entire branch or in excessive sprouting and the eventual development of more problems later on, since these sprouts are generally short lived and weakly attached.

Torn Bark

In some instances the tearing of bark on large limbs or the main trunk occurs. This is especially common when trees have been struck by lightning. Carefully trim away all loose bark back to the area where it is solidly attached. Do not cut too deeply into the wood of the tree. This cutting of the bark is referred to as a bark tracing. If possible, all bark wounds should be cut into an elliptical shape, being careful to keep the trace as narrow as possible. This may be difficult on large areas. However, trimming the bark in this manner will encourage rapid healing with minimal wood decay.

Split Forks

Some forks and main branches that are split apart or partially broken may be repaired without removing one or both branches. This type of work is usually beyond the capability of most homeowners unless they have experienced assistance. If the break is nearly even, it is possible to draw the split portions back together and secure them with a large diameter steel bolt and threaded screw rod placed through the split section.  The proper procedure for repair begins with drawing the split together using a small block and tackle or winch. Place this 6 to 8 feet or more above the split to obtain maximum leverage. Drill holes through both halves of the split in which the bolt or rod is inserted. With long split areas, 2 or more bolts may be necessary. In addition to the bolts, it often helps to install a steel cable between the two main braches of the split fork several feet above the split. Use lag screws to attach the cable to each branch. Do not wrap the cable around the branch or it may eventually girdle it. This cable system helps hold the crotch together, thus reducing the chance of further breakage.

Wound Treatments

After pruning is complete, all wounds larger than 1½ to 2 inches in diameter can be coated with wound dressing or pruning paint. Recent research has shown that dressings and paints probably do not increase the rate of healing. However, they may prevent drying out and provide some cosmetic effect. Several commercial materials are available or a couple of coats of orange shellac suffice. Areas of torn bark where tracings have been made can also be treated in this manner.

Uprooted trees

Trees may be uprooted as a result of severe storms. If the tree is large, it cannot be saved and therefore must be removed. For some smaller trees it may be possible to straighten the tree and brace it using guy wires or cables. Some type of power lift or equipment is usually necessary to pull the tree upright. Do not attempt this procedure unless 1/3 to 1/2 of the roots are still in the soil and the remaining exposed roots are relatively compact and undisturbed.

Before the tree is pulled upright, remove some soil from beneath the root mass so the roots will be placed below the existing soil grade level. Once the tree is back in the upright position, fill in soil as needed. Water the tree to help firm the soil and remove air pockets. Attach 2 or 3 guy lines to the trunk as is often done for newly transplanted trees, at a point approximately two-thirds of the height of the tree and to anchors placed some 12 to 15 feet from the base of the tree to hold the tree in place.

Waste Disposal

Materials from fallen or salvaged trees can be used in several ways. The larger branches can be cut and used for firewood. Add smaller branches and twigs to the compost pile or cut up for kindling. Branches can also be converted into chips for use as compost, mulch or other landscaping purposes if chipping equipment is available to local residents.


Melvin.R Koelling and Russell P. Kidd, MSU Forestry Department, Extension Bulletin E-1364

Mary L. Duryea, Ph.D., forest resource extension specialist, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611

Manfred E. Mielke, Plant Pathologist Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection, USDA Forest Service, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Margery L. Daughtry, Extension Associate, Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, L.I. Hort. Research Lab, Riverhead, New York 11901

How to fix a garland - Lifehacker

December 28, 2018LikbezDo it yourself

Do not rush to throw away old lights and run to the store for new ones.



As a rule, garlands have a rather simple design and typical faults that are easy to fix even without special skills and tools. But in some cases, you may need a soldering iron and a multimeter. Therefore, you may still have to turn to a familiar radio amateur.

The cause of a garland malfunction, like any electrical engineering, is the failure of one or more circuit elements. Everything is usually repaired by replacing a faulty part, which can be found in another garland or some kind of broken equipment.

Careless handling of the electric garland can result in electric shock or damage to the device. You perform all actions at your own peril and risk. Lifehacker does not bear any responsibility.

How a garland is arranged

All electric garlands are arranged in the same way. In older samples, these are light bulbs connected in one circuit that light up or flash when connected to the network. In modern ones, a controller is added to glow in different modes and the bulbs can be replaced by LEDs.

Usually, old or decorative garlands have two wires, or to be more precise, one, which is connected in the form of a ring and twisted. Modern models have five wires. Four LEDs are located - these are branches. The fifth - general - remains empty.

At the far end, they all connect together, and their other ends go into a small box with a button and a plug.

Inside the box is a controller - a small board that contains a chip for creating effects and a few parts. A diode bridge, a capacitor, a pair of resistors and four (or two) thyristors that control the glow of each of the branches with lights of the same color.

In the photo on the left, the four black parts are thyristors. The blue one next to it is a capacitor, small light-colored edges are resistors, behind the scarves with a microcircuit are a diode and a button.

In the photo on the right is the reverse side of the board, two wires from the bottom - mains power, a row of wires from the top - lines of branches of each color and a common one.

How to fix a garland if it does not turn on

Cause 1. Broken power wire

Thin wires are often damaged by breaking at the plug or coming off the board inside the control box.

1 / 0

2 / 0

How to fix

Move the wire at the plug and next to the box. If the garland works, then the problem has been found and all that remains is to replace the cable by disassembling the controller unit.

If not, troubleshooting should start with the power cable. Open the cover, unsolder the two wires going to the board and replace them with a working wire with a plug.

If there is no visible damage to the board, this should help and the garland will work. Otherwise, the problem must be sought in the power diodes.

Cause 2. Burnt diode bridge

Power surges can destroy one or more diodes of the diode bridge. As a result, the board will not be powered and the garland will not turn on.

How to fix

Check all diodes with a multimeter and replace the non-working ones with good ones. Details can be taken from another garland or found suitable at the denomination indicated on the case.

How to fix a garland if one of the colors does not work

Cause 1. An open circuit in one of the branches

Due to poor quality, the wires can break off either at the board itself or somewhere between the LEDs. In both cases, the circuit opens and the LEDs stop glowing.

How to fix

Separate the dead branch from the rest and carefully inspect the wire to check its integrity. If it has moved away from the board, strip it, re-solder it and fix it with hot glue for reliability.

If there is damage on the cable between the LEDs, strip the ends of the wire and solder or twist them together, then insulate with heat shrink or electrical tape.

Cause 2. Burnt LED

Low-quality LEDs often light up. With a serial connection, this means the same open circuit as in the previous case.

How to fix

Finding a broken LED or light bulb in a series circuit is more difficult. One option is to ring each element with a multimeter.

You can also make a jumper of two needles connected by a wire, and alternately close the incoming and outgoing wires on each LED with them. The garland must be turned on. The LED, when closed, all the lights of the branch will light up, and will be defective.

To restore the circuit, a non-working LED can either be replaced, or simply removed and connected the ends of the wires to each other, insulating them. Without consequences, you can throw away up to five LEDs in one branch.

Cause 3. Thyristor failure

If the control thyristor of one of the lines fails, all LEDs of the same color stop working.

How to fix

You can fix the breakdown only by replacing the thyristor with a working one from another garland or a suitable one at face value. To check, you need to use a multimeter or resort to the following method.

Identify the wire of the non-working branch and swap with one of the good ones by unsoldering or cutting and connecting with a twist. If the defective line then works, then the problem is in the thyristor.

The wires that go to the thyristors are usually arranged in a row at one of the edges of the board. On the opposite there will be only two wires - this is power. It's hard to confuse them.

How to fix a garland if one of the colors is dimly lit

Cause 1. Branch wire tear

Due to a break in the wire inside the wire, contact is broken in the circuit of one of the branches. The current still passes, but it is no longer enough to light all the LEDs.

How to fix

Carefully inspect the entire branch. Move the wires at the board and each of the LEDs of the switched on garland to determine the damaged place. As soon as you find it, all the LEDs will light up in full force. Next, it remains to restore normal contact by soldering the wire or stripping and connecting it.

Cause 2. Broken thyristor

Due to a faulty thyristor, one of the lines may not have enough current for the normal operation of all LEDs.

How to fix

This breakdown is treated only by replacing the thyristor with another one. You can check the performance with a multimeter, or by transferring the wire to one of the working lines.

How to fix the garland if it flashes randomly in any mode

Cause 1. Failure of the capacitor

Drying, leaking or swelling of the electrolytic capacitor causes malfunctions of the controller.

How to fix

Carefully inspect the capacitor. If it is swollen, darkened, or electrolyte streaks are visible on it, then a replacement is necessary. Examine the case to find out the rating and voltage, and then find an analogue with parameters no less than the original ones. Carefully unsolder the old capacitor and install a new one, observing the polarity.

Cause 2. Broken resistor

Burnt resistors also cause controller malfunction and unstable lighting modes.

How to fix

Check the resistance of the resistors with a multimeter and replace the faulty ones with working ones of the same rating. If visually the parts are intact, it is still better to replace them to rule out a malfunction.

How to fix the garland if all LEDs are on at the same time and do not blink

Cause 1. Chip failure

Damage to the controller chip causes all LEDs to light simultaneously and without blinking. The modes stop working, and when you press the button, the lights turn on and go out when you release it.

How to fix

Unfortunately, garlands with this problem cannot be repaired. A working controller from another garland will not work. It is designed for a different number of LEDs and resistance, thyristor current. Therefore, at best it will not work, and at worst it will cause a short circuit.

Read also ⚡️🧐

  • 18 unusual Christmas garlands from AliExpress
  • How to make DIY Christmas garlands: 11 cool ideas
  • 10 DIY Christmas decorations worth making
  • What to give for the New Year - 2023: only the best ideas

How to fix a garland if the wires come off or the light bulb burns out

If on the eve of the New Year you find out that the old Christmas tree garland doesn't work, for example, one color doesn't light up, don't rush to buy a new one. there is a chance to repair the damage with your own hands. Fortunately, the device of these Christmas tree lights is not too complicated, and if you carefully check all possible faults, you can make repairs at home. Next, we will tell the readers of the Sam Electrician website how to fix the garland if the contact wires come off in it, the light bulb burns out, or the modes do not switch.

  • One or more colors off
  • Does not light up at all
  • Broken bulbs

One or more colors do not light

One of the most time-consuming breakdowns is the case when one or two colors do not work in the electric garland, for example, only red or yellow and blue, as in the photo below. This indicates that, most likely, the bulbs in the corresponding section have burned out.

To begin with, we still recommend dismantling the switch cover, also known as the control unit, and check the reliability of all connections - contacts soldered to the board. We immediately suggest watching a video lesson from a young master, which clearly shows what to do if the wire from the board breaks:

How to carry out a simple repair of a malfunction?

If everything looks in order, then it is highly likely that the light bulb has burned out. The fact is that modern garlands are designed in such a way that all single-color lamps are connected in series and if any one burns out, the light will go out on the entire electrical branch. To fix the breakage, it is recommended to act as a good old textbook advises: cut the garland in half and ring both sections. Then proceed in the same way with the non-working section: cut by 2 and check again, and so on until the end, as shown in the diagram.

As a result, you will be able to determine which bulb is not working and replace it. We draw your attention to the fact that it is advisable to use this repair method if the electric garland is non-separable, usually Chinese.

To quickly fix the garland with your own hands, you can take a tester and attach needles to its ends instead of probes. With the help of needles, punch through each section of the circuit in series so that the needle passes to the current-carrying core, and look for where the resistance of the section is significantly different. In this way, you can find a breakdown and repair it with less effort.

Old Soviet garlands for the Christmas tree (without box) are more convenient in this regard, because in them, all the lamps are screwed into the cartridges, and you can determine which bulb does not work without a soldering iron and an ohmmeter by elimination - taking a working light source and screwing it into all the cartridges one by one. Another repair method is to use a tester to measure the resistance of each lamp until you find a blown one.

An example of repairing another difficult malfunction:

Why does the Soviet electric garland not work and how can I repair it myself?

Another way to fix a broken electric garland is to check the integrity of the common wire. On the board on one side you will see 5 soldered wires: 4 for the glow of each of the colors and one common. Now, if the common wire breaks, you just need to solder it.

In addition to the light bulb, the reason that one or more colors in the garland does not light up may be a broken wire, which is responsible for just a certain color. This problem most often occurs if there are cats or dogs in the house that chew through the wires while playing. In this case, you need to find the place of damage, re-twist the current-carrying wires and insulate them. It does not hurt to protect the wires from pets after that.

Does not light up at all

If your LED garland does not shine, and you are convinced that it is not the LEDs, then you already need to look at the control unit and the power cord. First, check the integrity of the cord, it may have been interrupted or the contact on the connection to the microcircuit has broken. After that, check how all the contact connections are soldered to the board. For example, in the photo below, one of the wires burned out. If everything is working, then the board has burned out. You can, of course, buy a new garland if this one was cheap Chinese, but if you want to fix the product, now we will tell you how to do it.

Instead of a standing control unit, you can use a starter from a fluorescent lamp at 127 or 220 Volts (the difference is only in the flashing speed of the bulbs). First, check how the LEDs are connected. If it turns out that the extreme elements of the groups are interconnected by anodes, you will have to redo the circuit and connect the LEDs with cathodes. This is due to the fact that for normal operation of the starter, the voltage to the anode must be supplied through a 5-watt resistor with a resistance of 15-20 kOhm. In addition, diodes will also have to be included in the circuit, as shown in the diagram below. Diodes are needed in order to pass through the reverse current of the network. This is how you can remake and thereby fix the LED garland with your own hands at home.

As you can see, you will have to work hard to repair the product, so if the electric garland is Chinese, it is better not to waste time and buy a new one. We talked about how to choose a garland for a Christmas tree in a separate article. By the way, it is recommended to convert it to a starter even if the garland does not blink or does not switch modes and the reason for this is the controller.

Please note that if it is the LED in the Christmas tree diode lamp that burns out, after which the entire section does not light up, you need to solder the serviceable element strictly observing the polarity!

Broken bulbs

If one or more bulbs are broken and you want to repair the product, we recommend that you simply replace the damaged light source with a new one. We draw your attention to the fact that the replacement should be done only when the power is off, so as not to get an electric shock.

Learn more