This invention relates to a clip.
In the horticulture industry there are a wide variety of situations
in which a growing plant must be supported during at least its early stages of
growing. Such support can often be provided by a growing frame or structure to
which the plant is tied by suitable ties. With trees for example, the support
can be a stake inserted in the ground adjacent each tree. In an alternative arrangement
a wire or series of wires can be strung alongside a line of growing or sapling
trees and a tie or ties is/are engaged around the wire(s) and tree to tie the
tree to the wire(s).
With either of the aforementioned support arrangements, it is difficult
to anchor the tie to the stake or wire. As a result the tie can move away from
its optimum position and thus this can lead to the desired support effect being
lost. This is particularly so with the wire support arrangement as the ties can,
usually readily, slide along the wire.
Additionally, problems often arise with the ties themselves causing
damage to the tender skin or bark of the growing plant. Generally ties are so constructed
that the length thereof can be adjusted to that necessary to ensure that correct
amount of encirclement of the plant and support is achieved. It is this construction
which can often lead to damage. For example a well known form of tie consists of
a molded plastics strap of the like, this strap having a plurality of teeth formed
therein. The end of the strap can be engaged through a suitable slotted body portion
which co-operates with the teeth to prevent the strap being drawn back through
the slot. The teeth, or the actual profile of the strap itself (the strap usually
being of fairly thin cross-section) can rub against the bark or skin of the plant
and thereby cause damage.
The object of the present invention is to provide a clip which can
be mounted to a support structure and provide an anchor for a tie member.
Broadly in one aspect, the present invention consists of a clip comprising
a resiliently deformable body having a pair of engagement means which can engage
with a support member, said engagement means having locating means which substantially
anchor said body in position with said support member, the body having means for
attachment thereto of at least one tie element.
Preferably the body is formed from sheet spring steel. The pair of
engagement means can be in the form of a pair of parallel open ended slots. Preferably
the inner ends of the slots are profiled so as to form locating means.
The attachment means can, in a preferred form of the invention, comprise
a pair of openings through which a tie can be threaded.
In the following more detailed description of the invention, reference
will be made to the accompanying drawings in which:-
- Figure 1 is an elevation view of one embodiment of the clip,
- Figure 2 is a plan view of the clip in conjunction with a wire support and a
- Figure 3 is an elevation view of a second embodiment of the clip,
- Figure 4 is a detail view in the direction of Arrow A in Figure 3,
- Figure 5 is a plan view, in one direction, of the clip shown in Figure 3 in
conjunction with a tie, and
- Figure 6 is a plan view, from the other direction, of the clip as shown in
Figure 5 in place on a wire support.
According to the preferred form of the invention, the clip 10 is
formed from sheet spring steel. The clip could, however, be formed from such other
material which was suitable for the end purpose and which resulted in the body
11 of the clip being resiliently deformable.
The clip shown in Figure 1 and 2 has a body 11 of elongate form.
Extending in from one long side 12 thereof is a pair of spaced apart parallel open
ended slots 13. The inner ends of these slots 13 are provided with a transverse
portion 14, which as shown in Figure 1 of the drawings, is formed by a pair of
oppositely disposed triangular portions 15.
In use of the clip 10, and as shown in Figure 2, the clip is engaged
with a length of wire W by deforming the clip such that the wire W passes through
slots 13 to become located in the transverse inner portions 14. This can be achieved
by placing the wire through one slot 13 and then twisting and, by so doing, deforming
the clip sufficiently for the wire to be inserted in the other slot 13. The clip
is then permitted to try and return to its flat state and this causes the edges
of the triangular portions 15 to engage with the peripheral surface of the wire
W and effect a wedging action with the wire. As a consequence, the clip 10 is substantially
anchored to the wire as longitudinal movement along the wire is prevented by the
edges of the triangular portions 15 which tend to dig into the wire.
The attachment means for the tie element or elements consists of
a pair of elongate slotted openings 16 which as illustrated in Figure 1 are in
a spaced apart parallel disposition. In the illustrated form the slots 16 are also
parallel to slots 13, however, this is only by way of example and these slots
could be disposed in a variety of other positions, eg parallel to the long sides
of body 11.
In the form as illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 a strap member 17 has
one end threaded through the slots 16 so that the strap can encircle a portion
of the plant, (eg the trunk of a growing tree) and the other end inserted back
through, in an opposite direction, the slots 16. The strap can be adjusted so
as to provide the required diameter as to encircle the plant and give support thereto
but also allow the plant to grow.
Preferably the tie 17 is formed of a plastics material which is UV
stabilised. The strap 17 can, by way of example, be approximately 13mm to 18mm
in width and of 1mm to 2mm in thickness. The side edges of the strap 17 are preferably
rounded or of some other curved profile.
The clip of the invention provides a quick and easy effective means
for supporting plants particularly young trees. The design and construction enables
the clip to be readily mounted on most sizes of fencing wire. The locking arrangement
means that once in place the clip will remain in position even in the most adverse
weather and climatic conditions. The clip which is preferably constructed of high
quality spring steel and plated against corrosion, forms a stable base for a looped
tie to extend about the portion of the plant where support is required.
Because the tie or strap 17 is wide, has a curved edge profile and
is smooth (serrations not being needed to provide for adjustment of the length
of the tie) damage to the skin of the plant is minimised even in high wind conditions.
To accommodate different sized plants and growth in the plant being supported,
the tie can be readily adjusted.
Savings in time taken to tie plants to a support structure can be
achieved using the clip as it simply clicks onto the support wire and the tie is
adjusted to length. No special tools are required to fit the clip or adjust the
tie length. Even in high ambient temperatures the clip will remain in position
on the support wire.
The clip is open to modification as shown in Figures 3 to 6 In this
form the body 11 is wider and the slots 16 are disposed above the open ended slots
13. Also the shape of the triangular portions 15 are altered to be radiussed rather
than triangular. In this form portions 15 will have curved ends which substantially
conform with the peripheral shape of the wire.
In this form there are three slots 16 and as shown they have shallow
serrated edges which provide for better grip of the strap 17. The three slots allow
for different means of anchoring strap 17 to body 11. For example as illustrated
in Figure 5 the strap 17 has its ends threaded through the middle slot 16 with
one end being directed through one outer slot 16 and the other through the other
outer slot 16.
The clip of Figure 3 also incorporates flaps 18, which define the
slot 13, profiled to form an entrance into the slot. These flaps 18 are also slightly
angled outward as can be seen in Figure 4. The edges 19 of flaps 18 thus tend to
locate underneath the wire W when it is located in the clip. These edges 19 thus
act against any upward force on the clip which may serve to disengage the clip
from the wire.