FAQ

Do you have a question? Contact us.
We will update this FAQ page on a regular basis. Thank you.

2013 PossibiliTree Giveaway
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Announcing our 2013 PossibiliTree Giveaway

2013 PossibiliTree Giveaway. Winner Takes Her/His Pick of Prize!

Details:
All persons who “Like” us on our PossibiliTree Facebook page are eligible to win with the exception of winners in previous giveaways.

This year, the winner of our drawing may select the prize that suits her/him best: the 2ft tabletop, the 3ft tabletop, or the 6ft suspended possibiliTree, valued at $160, $230 and $460, respectively.

To enter the drawing simply click our "like" icon located at the top right of our Facebook page. You are thereby automatically entered into the drawing. Please encourage your friends to "like" us, too. Once we reach 1,000 friends on Facebook, we will draw for the winner.

We want the winner to receive the prize by Christmas, so please help us to get to 1,000 friends before then.

We will notify the winner through Facebook. The winner may choose a tree in whatever size and wood species desired, as long as we have it in stock at the time of the drawing. Should the winner select a 6ft suspended possibiliTree, we will custom string the tree to the winner's specifications. Important: We will not be able to ship a 6ft possibiliTree to an international destination.

PossibiliTree LLC will ship free to the winner who lives in the USA & defray shipping costs (of a 2ft or 3ft possibiliTree) if the winner lives overseas. Good luck to all! Spread the word!

Shipping and Distributorship
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I live in the Twin Cities. To avoid shipping costs, may I pick up my order at your studio?

Yes. You are more than welcome to do this!

There are two ways to proceed.

One way, by making your purchase online at www.possibiliTree.com

  • On Step 3 of the online payment process, you will see these words: "If you have a coupon or voucher, enter code here." Enter the following code into the field: ns001. This will waive the shipping fee.
  • If you scroll down further on that same page, you will see a field called "Order Note". Please write a message in that field suggesting when you'd like to pick up your possibiliTree. We will contact you to confirm date of pick up or negotiate a mutually available time.

The other way, by making a purchase at the studio:

  • Call us at 612.220.239 and set up a time to meet us at the studio. Our hours vary, so it's tres importante  that we all agree on a meeting time. We'd hate it if you made a trip to see us and we weren't there to welcome you.
  • At the studio, you can select a possibiliTree from our stock  and pay by check or credit card. Cash is an option, but as we are not in the retail game, we don't keep $$$ with us, so wouldn't be able to provide you with change. Exact cash would be required. A 3ft possibiliTree, with MN sales tax, is $247.83. A 6ft possibiliTree, with MN sales tax, is $495.77.
  • Important: If you purchase a 6ft suspended possibiliTree, we will need to need to know the ceiling height of the room in which you will display the tree. We will need to finishing stringing the tree after the purchase. This process takes up to a half hour. We might be able to string the tree on the day of your purchase or you may need to return the next day. We can advise you of this when you call to set up a time to visit our studio.
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I live in the Twin Cities. May I visit your studio to see the possibiliTrees?

Please call 612.220.2639 to set up an appointment.  Our workroom/studio is located in the Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson Street NE, Minneapolis.  We're studio 141 (enter through the door by Dock 1, take a left, and we are just past the water fountains). There is plenty of free parking around the building.

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Where can I purchase a possibiliTree in a retail store?

With rare exception, possibiliTree® wooden trees are available only online through our website. The reason for this is that were possibiliTrees available through third parties,  the price of the trees would necessarily double, owing to distributor mark up.  Then, so as not to undercut the distributor's chance of selling his/her possibiliTree inventory, we would be forced to raise our prices to match the distributor's price. We think our possibiliTrees would become unaffordable were this to happen. So we choose to sell directly online to keep our prices down.

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What are your shipping charges for USA destinations?

For USA delivery, the 2013 rates for standard/ 2-day/overnight delivery are as follows:

6ft suspended $38/$100/$160

3ft tabletop $26/$55/$110

2ft tabletop $22/$50/$95

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Do you ship outside of the continental U.S.?

We ship to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, plus Canada and Mexico. We regret that we will no longer ship to international destinations outside of Canada and Mexico.

Some things to consider:

  • Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. We use UPS for shipping.
  • Canada. We use United States Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail International for shipping. Orders sent through this service  usually take 6-10 business from time of shipment to delivery. The flat fee to ship a 6ft possibiliTree to Canada is $75, to ship a 3ft possibiliTree is $50, and to ship a 2ft possibiliTree is $45. All currency listed in US dollars.
  • Mexico, 2ft and 3ft tabletop possibilitrees.  We use USPS Priority Mail International for shipping our tabletop models. Orders sent through this service  usually take 6-10  business from time of shipment to delivery. The flar fee to ship a 3ft possibiliTree to Mexico is $55, and to ship a 2ft possibiliTree is $50. All currency listed in US dollars.
  • Mexico, 6ft suspended possibilitrees. Due to package size restrictions, we are unable to ship our 6ft possibilitree to Mexico through USPS. The least expensive service we have found is UPS Standard for US$95. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  • Shipments outside of the USA may be subject to duties, fees, or VAT that are the customer's responsibility to pay.
  • Please note that there is a chance that your shipment could spend time in customs before delivery. There is also a chance that inclement weather may delay delivery. These things are outside of our control.
Customized Trees
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Is there any cost savings if I were to buy a 5ft possibiliTree (a modified version of the 6ft possibiliTree)?

There is no price difference for a suspended possibiliTree with the bottom row removed. The price remains $460.

At the buyer's request, we will include the bottom row  in the shipping box along with the shortened version of the 6ft possibiliTree. The bottom row may come in handy if the buyer at a later date wishes to turn the 5ft back into a 6ft possibiliTree. If this were the event, upon request, our company can provide instructions on how to do that.

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I am interested in purchasing a 5' version of the 6' hanging tree. Can you tell me what the diameter of the 5' tree would be at its widest row?

The diameter of the widest row of a 5ft suspended possibiliTree is 48".

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We'd like to have a possibiliTree, but painted in white or silver or green. Please advise.

We are not set up to do this for you. If you are compelled to take on a DIY painting project, keep in mind these things:

  1. It would require less paint if you chose the lightest wood available, i.e.. maple.
  2. Our trees are finished with a Watco Danish oil. You'd need to strip that off.
  3. The 6ft suspended possibiliTree arrives at your doorstep pre-strung. To effectively paint these branches, you'd want to unstring the tree, paint the 67 individual branches and 10 dowel "spacers" and restring your tree, requiring a special crimper tool. We can't imagine this as anything but a labor of love—or insanity. (Sorry. Just our opinion.)
  4. The 3ft or 2ft tabletop models would be less hassle to paint.
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Could I custom order a possibiliTree® in a different size?

Sorry, no. We don't have the capacity at this time to make custom size trees with this one exception: We can modify the 6ft suspended tree to 5ft by removing the bottom row of branches before wiring.

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Could I order a possibiliTree® in a different wood?

We want to put our energies into the products in our current line, so at this time we do not offer the option of custom wood selections.

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Would you custom wire my 6ft suspended possibiliTree® so that it hangs upside down (biggest branches nearest to the ceiling)?

Sorry, but no! The delicate top dowel and smallest branches will not support the weight of all the larger pieces in an upside down position.

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Do you make a floor-standing 6ft possibiliTree®?

The 6-footer was designed as a suspended tree and looks best that way. Once upon a time we seriously tried to develop a floor-standing 6ft possibiliTree. None of the prototypes pleased us and our  company artistic director gave them the "boot".

Assembly
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Video of 3ft Tabletop Assembly

For a quick tutorial on assembling a tabletop possibiliTree (3ft or 2ft) check out this YouTube video.  The video demonstrates a 3ft tree assembly, but the 2ft assembly isthe same except that it has two fewer rows of branches to put together.

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The metal rod is visible after I've assembled my tabletop tree.

First, make certain that the rod is screwed far enough down into the base.  Next, make certain that all the branches have been included in your assembled tree. For the 3ft possibiliTree, there should be a total of 31 branches. For the 2ft possibiliTree, there should be a total of 17 branches. If the metal rod is still visible, please contact us by email or phone and we will help solve the issue.

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I've lost my assembly instructions. Please help!

For a quick tutorial on assembling a tabletop possibiliTree (3ft or 2ft) check out this  YouTube video.  The video demonstrates a 3ft tree assembly, but the 2ft assembly is the same except that it has two fewer rows of branches to put together.

Click on the link below for your specific User Guide.. If printing, select "2-sided printing" in page layout  within your printer properties. These User Guides are formated to print double-sided and folded in half lengthwise to create 4.25" x 11" brochures.

 6ft suspended possibiliTree® instructions.

 3ft tabletop possibiliTree® instructions.

 2ft tabletop possibiliTree® instructions.

Display
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Is there a limit to how many ornaments a 6ft possibiliTree can hold? How strong are the branches?

The branches are  sturdy and the tree itself can accommodate lots of ornaments--hundreds, even, depending on the size of the ornaments.  The wire from which the 6ft possibiliTree suspends is tested to 100 pounds, and the tree itself weighs 13 pounds. So unless the culumative weight of your ornaments is 80+ pounds, a 6ft possibiliTree should be able to handle your ornament load.

 One thing to keep in mind is that you'll want to keep the weight of ornaments fairly equal on either side of any particular branch to prevent branches from becoming lopsided or tilted.

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Can I display my tree outdoors?

PossibiliTree® wooden trees are recommended for indoor use. Exposing your tree to the elements may cause the wood to darken unevenly or to warp.

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How do I hang my 6ft suspended possibiliTree®?

Prior to hanging your suspended tree, you will need to install a hook in your ceiling. The hook should be able to support 60 pounds. The tree only weighs 13 pounds, but you need to take into account the weight of all the ornaments, and it's safer to err on the side of caution.

Because of the wide variety of ceiling materials and construction methods, we advise consulting with a local home or hardware store for guidance in choosing the appropriate ceiling hook. We have a drywall ceiling and use a buttefly anchor. If your ceilings are plaster or some other solid material, then a different device is necessary.

You'll find step by step directions for hanging the suspended tree in the assembly instructions that we'll send out with your purchase of a "6-footer." These are also available as a PDF by clicking here.

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How have other people decorated their possibiliTrees?

We are delighted that some of our customers have already sent us photos of their decorated possibiliTrees. Vist our growing photo gallery. If you would like to share photos of your decorated tree, send your digital images in jpeg to our photo curator, Pat, at psorenson@possibilitree.com.

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What kind of ornaments do you recommend?

We recommend that you display ornaments that have meaning to you and reflect aspects of your life and your family. Tap into your creativity; display objects that give you pleasure.

Keep in mind that on a 3ft possibiliTree®, there are 4" between the layers of branches. Ideally, the combined length of each ornament and string should be in the 2"-3" range. The same would hold true for a 2ft possibiliTree®.

On the 6ft possibiliTree®, the space between the layers of branches ranges from 3.5" to almost 8". This allows for variation in size of ornaments and length of string as you see fit.

We've been pleased with how our possibiliTrees look when we've decorated them with origami figures, carved (wooden) animals, or garlands made with tiny mirrors.

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What do you recommend for lighting a possibiliTree®?

To create light effects, you can:

  • strategically place your tree under track lighting
  • shine LED lights from below the tree and position as "spot lights"
  • light up your branches with LED-embedded ornament

You may want to check out our website photo gallery for ideas—some possibiliTree owners have sent in photos of their decorated trees that include strung lights or use of cannister lights or color wheels.

Like any wood product, a possibiliTree® will burn. Do not place lit candles or hot objects on or near the tree.

As of yet we have not found any string of lights to look good on possibiliTree® branches. In your experiments, if you successfully string lights on your possibiliTree® and you are pleased with the results, we'd love to recommend your technique to others. Send us a photo!

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Why do my branches tilt and move?

PossibiliTree® wooden trees are designed to be collapsible. The creator of possibiliTrees had easy storage in mind as well as clean lines when he conceived the first possibiliTrees. This means the tree parts are not rigidly fixed together. Inherently the branches will tilt and move a little. Occasional readjustment is normal. To keep branches from becoming lopsided, make sure each branch is balanced on the ends with ornaments that weigh about the same.

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Where can I see a possibiliTree on display?

We sell possibiliTree® wooden trees primarily online and strive to make sure the photos on our website accurately depict the trees. Occasionally we may make some models of our trees either available for sale or on display at select stores. When this occurs, we will post the store name and address in this section. Meanwhile, here is a video clip from the December 17, 2010, Today Show featuring a 6ft suspended tree—to give you an idea of proportion and how it hangs.

General
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Do your possibiliTrees ever go on sale?

Short answer—no.

Longer answer, some points:

  1. We price our possibiliTrees to cover cost of goods and production expenses and provide us with reasonable compensation. Discounting our products for any reason means that we are devaluing the time that we have put into making the best possible product and giving customers the best possible service we can provide. We don't want to devalue us.
  2. Our prices reflect the cost of "made in the USA", including using wood coming from forests in Maine and milled by skilled woodworkers following our patented specifications.
  3. We have priced possibiliTrees basically at wholesale. Were  possibiliTrees offered in the retail world, e.g. at independently owned gift shops,  the retailer would double the wholesale cost, as is standard procedure, meaning that she would sell our $460 suspended possibiliTree for $920 or more. Because of how things work in the market, we would be obliged to mark up our $460 suspended possibiliTree to $920 to give the retailer a fair chance to sell her inventory without being undersold by us through our online store.  We believe that doubling the price makes our products out of reach for most people. So we choose to eliminate the "middleman", sell directly to customers, and keep our prices down. In a way, then, possibiliTrees are always "on sale", as they are always offered at half the price of what they would cost were they to be sold retail.
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What's that coupon/promo code field for when I'm making a purchase?

That's a will call code for customers in the Twin Cities who will pick up their purchases at our studio in the Northrup King Building. The code "ns001" waives shipping fees.

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Will you ever sell the 6ft possibiliTree in a lighter wood, such as maple?

We've been asked this enough times now that we are considering offering a maple 6ft suspended possibiliTree for the 2014 season. Should we carry this thought into reality, you will see the maple version offered on our website by late August 2014.

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What is the cost of your trees?

The price of trees—as well as the wood stock available for each model—can be found in the lower right hand corner of each "tree page" on our website. Hence, for the 2ft model, from the menu, click on 2 Ft Tabletop and you will see that the price of the tree is $160.

For convenience, tree prices are listed below:

2ft Tabletop - $160
3ft Tabletop - $230
6ft Suspended - $460

All amounts are in US dollars.

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I'd like to see what the wood looks like. Could I get samples?

Yes. We can send you small-sized wood samples (approximately 1" x 2") of each of the wood species used to produce possibiliTrees. Currently, that would be walnut, cherry, and maple. We charge a nominal fee of $5.50 to cover shipping and handling. Unless otherwise requested, we will send you samples of all three woods.

To obtain samples, choose one of the options below.

  1. Send us an email  with your request, providing your name and shipping address. We will send you electronically a PayPal Request for Money for $5.50.  Follow the prompts in that Request to submit payment with a credit card. You do not need to have a PayPal account to make a payment.
  2. Go through the postal service. Send your request to  PossilbiliTree, 4537 29th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN  55406. Include a check, made payable to PossibiliTree LLC, $5.50 for shipping and handling, and provide your mailing address.

In both instances, turnaround time between payment received and when we mail out the wood samples is 2 business days.

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Do I have any options if my ceiling is shorter than 9 feet and I really want a 6ft suspended tree?

Yes. You have two options:

  1. Tree with bottom row removed. We will  wire your tree with 9 rows of branches instead of 10. This creates a 5 foot tree. Your tree will float approximately 18 inches above the floor.
  2. Full size 6ft tree that floats closer to the floor. If you don't mind having the tree float closer to the floor, this is the option we recommend, as the tree shows off more spectacularly at full size. We wire the tree to its full size—68 inches. Your tree will include all 10 rows of branches and will float approximately 8 inches above the floor, and closer to the floor if your ceiling is lower than 8 feet. 

Please indicate your preference in the special instructions box when making your online purchase. Instruct us to either:

  • remove the bottom row to create a 5ft possibiliTree
  • keep your tree full size tree (knowing that it will float approximately 8 inches above the floor, and closer to the floor if your ceiling is shorter than 8 feet)  

If you need more information, please call or email us.

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Why do you recommend ceilings to be at least 9 feet high to display the 6ft suspended tree?

It's a question of math. The 6ft tree is actually 68 inches from top to bottom. We recommend 18 inches between the bottom row of branches and the floor to allow plenty of space for gifts. The length of the wire between the top of the tree to the ceiling must be at least 22 inches. This length prevents the wire from pulling tightly and cutting into the dowels—the spacers, or "stems",  between the rows of branches—when stacking the tree for storage. 68 inches + 22 inches + 18 inches = 108 inches = 9 feet.

That said, check out the FAQ in this section, Do I have options if my ceiling is shorter that 9 feet and I really want a 6ft suspended tree?  for more thoughts. 

Facts about possibiliTrees
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Why do you call possibiliTree® wooden trees A Tree for Life?

  1. PossibiliTree® wooden trees are designed to last for years--perhaps for even a lifetime.
  2. We hope that your possibiliTree® serves as a tree for your life--to frame times and spaces that have meaning for you.
  3. By using the phrase A Tree for Life, we are aligning our trees and our business to the mythical "Tree of Life," a many branched tree illustrating the idea that all life on the planet is related. This is a powerful image for us and one that reminds us to build a business that is humble, sustainable, and rooted in integrity.
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Will you donate a tree to my nonprofit cause?

Sorry. We are not yet in a financial position to do so.

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Do you donate a percentage of your profits to charity?

This is a great idea and we appreciate businesses that are able to do this. For us, though, the reality is that we would have to pass on the cost of our charitable contributions to our customers. This would increase the price of our trees. We suspect that given a choice, our customers would opt to purchase a possibiliTree® wooden tree at the lowest price possible and to donate to charitable organizations on their own.

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How sustainable is your company?

Although we have no right to make judgments about what type of Christmas tree people display in their homes—be it a fresh cut evergreen, a tree made from plastic, or an alternative such as ours—we do view owning a possibiliTree as a statement about one's respectful relationship to the natural world and a commitment to sustainability.

The average fresh cut Christmas tree lasts a few weeks in the home before making its way to the compost pile or incinerator and the life of a plastic tree is 6-10 years, depending on who is doing the calculating. PossibiliTrees are durable. The original possibiliTree, designed in 1981, has been our family Christmas tree every year since (and continues to delight the eye). Further, we believe the production of a possibiliTree—comprised of hardwood harvested in the United States, metal (wire for the 6ft tree, metal rod for the 3ft), and finished with Danish oil—wreaks far less assault on the environment than an artificial tree, completely the product of the befouling petro-chemical industry. 

The designer of the possibiliTree, architect Richard Babcock, designed this tree in response to a request from his wife, Dot, who was tired of the maintenance, mess, and cleanup associated with keeping a live Christmas in their home. If nothing else, displaying a possibiliTree eliminates the human energy expended on caring for an evergreen over the holdiays. This may seem like a little thing, but in a hectic, multi-tasking, stressful world, removing one daily task from the chore list can be seen as a step towards creating a more sustainable life.

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How "green" is your tree?

By virtue of the fact that possibiliTree® wooden trees are a natural wood product, possibiliTrees are green. You can make them greener by using them year after year. Additionally, possibiliTrees are minimally processed. They are reusable, recyclable, and, with the exception of the metal rod, wire, and tiny amount of plastic used on the different models, are biodegradable.

When possible, we make our trees with naturally fallen trees (deadfall). The wood from our wild cherry tabletop that we've offered in the past came from a cherry tree that grew in the countryside of north central Minnesota and fell during a summer thunderstorm. Butternut that we used in the past actually came from old church pews.

All the wood we use is domestic (grown in the United States). We understand that out in the greater universe of wood products for sale, some merchants use jatoba and ipe—woods from rainforest areas—to mimic the look of domestic wood at lower costs. We have been assured by our wood supplier, H.A. Stiles of Maine, that we have the real thing—real, walnut, real cherry, real maple—all sourced from within the USA.

We use plastic wrapping in the process of packing our trees for shipping. If we find an acceptable green alternative, we will switch to that.

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Is the wood used on your PossibiliTrees solid wood? Is formaldehyde used at any stage in the production of your trees? Is there a finish on the wood? I am trying to avoid VOCs and formaldehyde emissions.

Our wood supplier responds, "[PossibiliTrees] are finished with Watco Danish oil and yes there are VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) in production. This volatile material is the solvent base which dissipates during drying. If you were to look up the MSDS, the material safety data sheet, on Watco oils, you would see considerable cautions on handling which all apply to the liquid state and are cautions for production process. I cannot comment specifically on Watco, but we use other oil based finishes, that once dried, are certified as child safe for toys, under the CPSIA. Please note that even latex based paints used inside your house have VOC’s and once again, the issue pertains to the liquid state. Formaldehyde concerns typically pertain to glues used in plywood and particle board, rather than solid wood such as these products. CA has instituted new regulations banning formaldehyde use in furniture and building products and the industry has pretty much converted to formaldehyde-free adhesives over the past couple years. No worries with solid wood."

Troubleshooting and Maintenance
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What is the best way to store my possibiliTree®?

Store your tree in a cool, dry place. In the past we have suggested using the original shipping box or tube for storage. This works,  although we now add this caveat:  Cardboard absorbs moisture and odors. Should your storage area harbor—even slightly—any mold, mildew, or other objectionable odor-generating organism, the shipping box and eventually the tree may absorb this scent. Heads up and caution!

 

For our at-home possibiliTrees,  we actually never use storage boxes. We keep our 6ft suspended corner in our basement and cover it loosely with a sheet to protect from dust. Our 3ft walnut is on display as an objet d’art in our home all year round.

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The metal rod is visible after I've assembled my tabletop tree.

First, make certain that the rod is screwed far enough down into the base.  Next, make certain that all the branches have been included in your assembled tree. For the 3ft possibiliTree, there should be a total of 31 branches. For the 2ft possibiliTree, there should be a total of 17 branches. If the metal rod is still visible, please contact us by email or phone and we will help solve the issue.

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I lost a part on my tabletop tree. Can I get a replacement?

You bet! Please contact us. We are happy to replace lost parts. We  charge a nominal fee for replacement and shipping.

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Do possibiliTree® wooden trees require any maintenance?

PossibiliTree® wooden trees require little maintenance. To prevent premature darkening, avoid displaying your tree in a space that will receive hours and hours of direct sunlight. If the wood appears dry, use a soft cloth to apply a light coating of furniture oil to restore your tree to its original richness.

Store your tree in a cool, dry place. If you store your tree in its original shipping box, keep in mind that cardboard absorbs moisture and odors. Should your storage area harbor—even slightly—any mold, mildew, or other objectionable odor-generating organism, the shipping box and eventually the tree may absorb this scent. Heads up and caution!