The present invention relates to a structure with modular components
and openable collar, particularly adapted for supporting transplanted plants in
an upright position in order to allow their root-taking and -forming.
It is well-known that many plants and trees of various sizes are
grown in plant nurseries to allow to use them, by transplant, in other locations
such as avenues, parks, gardens, and the like, to enhance and/or improve the aesthetics
of these locations.
Transplanting a small- and medium-sized plant or tree currently entails
removing the plant from its growing place so that a part of the soil that surrounds
it, known as sod, remains attached to the roots; then a larger hole (approximately
twice as large as the sod) is dug in the transplant area; the plant and the associated
sod are placed in this larger hole, and then three (or more) supporting posts
are inserted at the sides of the hole, orientating them towards the trunk of the
plant. Thereafter, the ends of the supporting posts (known as braces) are tied
to the plant with flexible means, such as ropes, metal cables, or the like. Finally,
the hole is filled with soil, which is then tamped. With this supporting system,
the transplanted plant remains upright with no danger that the sod might separate
from the roots.
However, since the braces lie outside the hole and are sometimes
very long (for example three or four meters long in the case of large-size plants
or trees) they occupy significant space around the plant and are thus aesthetically
unpleasant. Additionally, the known braces constitute a dangerous obstacle for
people and animals.
Furthermore, the braces protruding out of the soil that surrounds
the plant also entail the drawback that they require cutting other young plants
to provide them and hinder periodical cutting of the grass around the transplanted
plant; said cutting, even after removing the braces, can cause damage to the bark
of the plant, especially if lawn-mowers or the like are used.
In practice, therefore, current transplants entail significant financial
burdens for forming the braces and the use of two or three workers to install and
fix said braces, and also have the drawback that they produce a supporting structure
that is aesthetically unpleasant as well as dangerous and usable only once in practice.
Accordingly, a principal aim of the present invention is to provide
a supporting structure for transplanted plants that is conceived and structured
so as to fully obviate the practical, economical, and aesthetic problems entailed
by the use of braces arranged outside the soil affected by the plant, and most
of all such that it can be reused several times, without practical difficulties
and always with the same effectiveness and reliability, and which can also be
used for transplanting potted plants or the like.
An object of the invention is to provide a supporting structure of
the above specified type that is structured so as to be easily adapted, quickly
and without using accessories and/or operations for adapting the braces to the
various situations, for plants the height and trunk diameter whereof vary significantly.
This aim, this object, and others which will become apparent from
the following detailed description are achieved by a supporting structure for plants
as defined in the appended claims.
More particularly, and according to a first preferred embodiment,
said supporting structure uses three horizontal rod-like elements, two whereof
are rigidly coupled to (or monolithic with) each other at one of their free ends
and are longer than the third horizontal element, so as to form a single element
that is curved at substantially 90o and is meant to accommodate the
trunk of the plant in the curved region; the third horizontal element being shorter
than the other elements and being detachably anchored thereto in the curved region
between the two first elements; the plant being fastened to the structure by means
of a half-collar or the like adjustable by means of screw-like spacers or the
like; said fastening being such as to close, with the interposition of a flexible
sleeve, the trunk of the plant between the curved region of the first two elements
and the half-collar.
According to another embodiment, said horizontal rod-like elements
have the same length and each one is provided, at its free end, with a portion
shaped like a circular arc; said circular arcs have screw-like anchoring means
for their stable connection around the trunk of the plant after interposing a flexible
Finally, said vertical rod-like elements are preferably constituted
by straight tubular bodies adapted to allow, when required, the introduction of
fertilizers in the soil that surrounds the roots of the transplanted plant.
Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will
become apparent from the following detailed description, given with reference to
the accompanying drawings, which are provided merely by way of non-limitative
example and wherein:
- figure 1 is a view of a supporting structure for plants to be transplanted,
executed according to the invention, and shown after installation, that is to say,
in the position for supporting a plant inside a hole formed in the soil;
- figure 2 is a top or plan view of the structure according to the invention
on its own, in the position in which it is closed around the trunk of a medium-sized
- figure 3 is a view of a different embodiment of the structure of figures 1
- figure 4 is a view of a further embodiment of said figures 1 and 2; and
- figures 5, 5a, and 6 are plan and sectional views of two types of sleeve made
of rubber or the like.
With reference to the above figures, and in particular to figures
1 and 2, the supporting structure according to the invention is conceived and structured
so as to remain installed, fully embedded and concealed in the hole formed in
the soil in a known manner.
Said structure in fact comprises three metallic rod-like elements
1-2-3 which, after placing the sod 6 with the roots in the hole 4, are driven vertically
inside the hole 4, which is substantially quadrangular or even cylindrical and
is formed in a known manner in the soil 5, at a substantially equal distance from
each other and with an angular spacing as shown in figure 2, that is to say, so
that they lie at the corners of an isosceles triangle or the like, in the central
region whereof the sod is placed. Horizontal rod-like elements 8-9-10 are furthermore
connected to said three vertical elements by virtue of screw means or the like;
their length is adjustable so as to converge towards the plant or tree and then
be able to fasten it regardless of the diameter of its trunk.
More specifically, the embodiment shown in figures 1 and 2 entails
forming the horizontal elements 1 and 2 starting from a single rod-like element
that is subsequently bent at an angle (approximately 90o) so as to
form the two elements 8-9 and then allow to accommodate, in the curved region between
the two elements 8-9, the trunk of the plant 7 above the sod. The third horizontal
rod-like element 10, which is shorter than the previous ones, is furthermore connected
by screw means or the like 10a to the curved region between the elements 8-9.
The plant, which is already located in the curved region (figure
2) between the elements 8-9, is then fastened by virtue of a collar 11 that is
substantially a curved flat element having two opposite lugs 11a-11b which allow
to tighten the collar around the trunk by virtue of two traction elements 12-12a
anchored at right angles to the elements 8-9; said traction elements are threaded
so that, by passing through holes formed in the lugs of the collar, said collar
can be tightened around the plant by means of nuts.
In order to safeguard the integrity of the bark of the plant in the
region where the collar 11 is fastened, a sleeve-shaped tubular sheath 13, made
of flexible material such as natural or synthetic rubber, nonrigid plastics, or
the like, is interposed between said collar and the trunk.
Furthermore, in order to allow the above described structure to fasten
trunks having different diameters or to cover any excessive distances between the
walls of the hole and the plant arranged centrally in said hole, at least the
horizontal traction elements 8-9 are made of two parts that can be telescopically
adjusted in length with respect to each other by screwing or unscrewing a nut 14
that acts by resting on lugs that protrude from the traction elements on a threaded
portion of the initial part 8a-9a of the two traction elements 8-9.
The traction element 10 can also be provided so that it can elongate
telescopically according to the requirements.
According to another embodiment, which is also within the scope of
the present invention, the supporting structure with vertical rod-like elements
can have three horizontal rigid elements or traction elements 15-16-17 (figure
3) of equal length; sectors of a cylindrical sleeve 15a-16a-17a are anchored to
the free end of said elements that lies close to the trunk, and said sectors are
provided, at their ends, with lugs that mate with each other so as to provide,
by virtue of traction screws 18, a rigid tubular body that encloses the plant 7
and the corresponding flexible protective sleeve 13.
The length of said screws 18 is such as to allow to fasten the cylindrical
sectors 15a-16a-17a that form the collar on plants of different diameters.
The structure described above therefore remains inside the hole 4,
and said hole is then filled with soil, as shown in figure 1, until the structure
and the corresponding sod are covered.
After a period of a few months, which varies according to the type
and size of the transplanted plant, the structure is separated from the plant and
extracted so that it can be reused for other transplants.
Furthermore, in order to avoid damaging the bark of the plant during
grass cutting, in the region above the filled hole, the length of the elastic tubular
sheath 13 can be such that it protrudes partially from the ground, so as to wrap
around a part of the trunk, protecting it from the cutting devices of conventional
Also according to the invention, the supporting structure can be
constituted by four vertical elements 19-20-21-22 (figure 4) made of wood, metal,
plastics, or the like, which are arranged inside a quadrangular hole and at the
top whereof it is possible to anchor two identical horizontal elements 23-24 that
are substantially two pairs of identical rod-like elements shaped like a V or the
like and arranged so that they are mutually opposite and co-planar, as clearly
shown in figure 4.
In this case, too, the V-shaped elements 23-24 can be provided so
that they can elongate telescopically to adapt them to the various dimensions of
the plant to be supported; in this case, too, a fitting made of rubber or the
like, having an adjustable height and length, is inserted between the plant and
the portions of the elements that form the external quadrilateral.
Both for a structure having three vertical supporting elements and
for a structure having four of said elements, the rubber sleeve or gasket is in
fact constituted by an elastic belt 25 or 26 (figures 5-5a and figure 6) having,
in one case, a toothed tab 25a adapted to be wrapped in a tubular manner around
the plant and then inserted in bridges 25b and then pulled so as to adhere to said
The elastic belt 26 (figure 6) can instead have, as securing means,
once the tubular element has been formed, elastic press-studs 26a or the like.
For all of the above described and illustrated embodiments, the dimensions
of the vertical and horizontal rod-like elements, as well as the materials employed
(metallic tubular elements, wood or plastic rods, and the like), can vary according
to the requirements; likewise, the dimensions and shape of the elastic belts and
of the collar fastening system can also vary according to the requirements without
abandoning the scope of the protection of the invention.
Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference
signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing
the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs do not
have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way
of example by such reference signs.