Hey, I'm buying one of those in Figure 5 this weekend for our tree. They made their way into The Home Depot for $5, and I'm not paying $32 plus shipping to get the (probably also patented) Gift Box Tree Watering System (at least not this year). :-)
I have #5. It is the best solution for watering trees I have ever had. It also has a long pipette that slides down inside the watering tube to check how much water is in the stand. I've seen all kinds of complicated solutions to this problem including pumps with level monitoring, and siphons with remote filling tanks, etc., but sometimes the simple solution involving a bit of plastic is the best. This kind of innovation is why the patent system was created.
Well I am hoping the watering funnel is not a granted patent, but Larry is right: it is certainly the right balance of effectiveness v simplicity.
About 30 years ago I made something similar for emptying buckets of water out of my parents' leaky attic and it still works. My 'funnel' was a cut-off plastic Coke bottle.
Ha - I used something suspiciously like Fig. #5 years ago to water, er, well, fill an inaccessible brake fluid reservoir... got a funnel and a piece of tubing and went to it (no level monitoring though).
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