Home > #MTBoS, Maths > Fractal Christ-maths Trees!

Fractal Christ-maths Trees!

Yesterday was the 1st of December, and as such it was deemed time I our house to put up our Christmas tree. The tree itself is an artificial tree which my parents bought when I was a child sometime in the early 1990s and have since given to me. As such, I have been putting it up for more than 20 years, but this year I noticed something interesting that I hadn’t noticed before.

The tree comes in many parts, and fits together quite easily. The majority of the parts look like this:


They are packed away flat, then you spread them out and attach to a pole (the trunk, as it were) and fit together to form a tree that looks like this:


As we were putting it up his year my partner said, “These branches all look like mini trees themselves, don’t they?” This caused a real revelation. The designer of this tree had harnessed the power of fractals to create the most real looking artificial tree I’ve ever known. And this would make sense, given that real Christmas trees do also have a fractal quality about them. Every year I’d been putting up this tree and never realised the mathematical significance it held!

Here is the (almost) finished product:


And of course, no post about fractals wold be worth it’s salt without the following joke: “What does the B Stand for in Beniot B Mandlebrot?” “Benoit B Mandlebrot, of course!”

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