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Maths Formula Calculates Perfect Christmas Tree

Makes Makes for a Perfect Tree: This is truly for the meticulous, most fastidiuos Christmas tree decorator, who really must have just the right mix of lights, ornaments and tinsel distributed perfectly on the ole Tannenbaum.

It is a mathematical formula that one can use to design the most perfect tree. It was created students Nicole Wrightman and Alex Craig of the University of Sheffield in the U.K. Their “treegonometry” takes into the account the height of a tree in order to calculate the ideal number of ornaments, length of tinsel, length of lights and location of the star on top.

< ahref="">Members of the University’s Maths society, called SUMS, have put an end to bare branches, by calculating the amount of baubles, tinsel and lights needed, as well as the size of the essential star on top.

Department store Debenhams set the University the Christmas themed challenge to create the formulas for the perfectly decorated Christmas tree and it is also available below as a calculator.

If you’ve found your ideal Christmas tree but want to ensure you use the appropriate amount of decorations then the calculator will have the answer.

The formulas – which are being rolled out for use by Debenhams personal shoppers nationwide – are as follows:





This formula is frightfully incomplete, not taking into account AT ALL the branch density, nor giving and optimum size of the baubles, nor whether it is using large bulb or small bulb lights. It doesn’t even allow the user to choose whether to have an ornament majority tree or a tinsel one. Maybe in the UK this works, where every tree is probably some EU mandated Charlie Brown™ anemic stick and the country is under trade obligation to buy tinsel by the ship full from Brussels, but it won’t work here.

Not that it couldn’t be improved. You’d need to make an bulb size adjustment feature, and one that carries the number of lights per meter. You’d need another variable to handle branch density, and yet another one to deal with length since some trees are bushier than others. You’d want to work in a scaling factor as well, as we all know that the biggest balls go on the lower parts of the tree, unless you have cats or extra stupid children, in which case the most robust ornaments are the ones put there, well strapped down.

So overall, perhaps these students rate a C+ or a B- for their concept, but the app is far from complete. Personally, I’d write in a secret suicidal back door bit of code for anyone who puts up one of those “quaint” chirping bird ornament things. Hang one of those and the calculations null out, leaving you a real Charlie loser of a holiday bush.


I named the tree Lance Armstrong

Posted by Drew458    United States   on 12/13/2012 at 10:24 PM   
  1. Its the Holiday season Drew,Step away from the Calculator. More Eggnog Barkeep!
    beer_drinker  beer_drinker  beer_drinker

    Posted by Rich K    United States   12/14/2012  at  04:04 AM  
  2. Plus, what if you’re really old school and actually use candles on your tree? I get around that nowadays. I use both. We only light the candles when we are both watching some old Christmas favorites or doing… you know… underneath the candlelight. We do keep a fire extinguisher handy.

    Posted by Christopher    United States   12/16/2012  at  05:08 AM  
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