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Tree-gonometry – A formula for the perfect Christmas tree



Ever wondered how many lights and tinsel on your Christmas is too much? Well, wonder no more.

Debenhams has teamed up with maths boffins to create a formula for the best dressed Christmas tree.

We challenged maths students to create a mathematical equation that puts an end to bare branches and overloaded tinsel disasters, by calculating the amount of baubles, tinsel and lights needed.

They also incorporated the size of star or angel, to get the perfect tree.

The formulas devised by Nicole Wrightan and Alex Craig, students from the University of Sheffield are:

√17 = Square root of 17 (17 ÷ 4)
π = 3.142 (pi)

Number of baubles = √17/20 x (tree height in cm). Eg.  √17/20 x 180 cm = 37 baubles.
The length of tinsel (cm) = (13 x π)/8 x (tree height in cm). Eg. (13 x π)/8 x 180 cm = 919cm of tinsel.
The length of lights (cm) = π x (tree height in cm). Eg. π x 180 cms = 565 cm of lights.

Sonya Gillam, Debenhams’ Christmas decorations buyer, said: “The formulas are so versatile they will work on a tree large enough for the Royal family at Balmoral but also on trees small enough for the most modest of homes.”

The equations allow customers to be savvy when buying their Christmas decorations, as they can calculate exactly how much they need to create a beautifully decorated tree.

Sonya added: “We wanted to create a way for our customers to save time and money while still achieving the perfect looking tree, no matter what the size.”

A formula was also devised to work out the ideal tree topper size:

The height of the star/fairy (cm) = (height of tree (in cm))/10
For example, (180 cm )/10 = 18cm tree topper

Sonya Gillam concluded: “Customers are often making the error of buying too large or small an angel, however this simple formula means you’ll have the tree to star ratio correct.”

Nicole Wrightham said: “The formulas took us about two hours to complete. We hope the formulas will play a part in making Christmas that little bit easier for everyone.”

The formula is being rolled out for use by Debenhams’ personal shoppers nationwide.

Debenhams Christmas decorations are available in all stores nationwide and online at Debenhams.com, prices start from £3.


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