Tribute to our inventors

Robotic spruce tree-cutter

Following the construction of a highway near his home while living in St-Étienne-des-Grès, Michel, disturbed by the incessant noise of vehicles, decided to move to a few kilometers away. Thus he found himself with a land and farm buildings. By the turn of his land, he realized that the former owner cultivated there for Christmas trees. In all, there were about 4,000. One day, a guy comes to him and offered to buy him a lot. The transaction is completed quickly at derisory prices. A neighbor suggested he should start producing trees, it could be very profitable and had the space for. Wanting to know a little more about it, Michel became a member of the Association of producers of Christmas trees. He then went to visit a plantation and returned with 5,000 seedlings he planted. Later, he had planted 10,000 more. And in 1997, his plantation had 125,000. But every year, from late July to early September, we must prune these trees to give them a conical shape that people love so much during the holiday season. To do this, they had to hire tailors who work with machetes 16 to 20 inches long. The problem is that it is difficult to find good tailors and often, the size is fine in the morning but lacking a little later in the day. It is difficult to keep the same pace and the same angle movement for 8 hours straight. When a tree is badly cut, we have to wait another year before cutting again. Michel Paquette was tired of this loss of time and especially the lack of rigor of those seasonal employees who do not necessarily have the same concept of quality that the boss who pays their salary. One night after a tour of his plantation, he had enough and fired employees. He went to sit with a beer, as he says himself, and began to think that he could install a device in front of his tractor and would allow him to do the work itself. From that moment, his invention has quietly begun to take shape in his head. He then went to meet a good "inventor" having very good knowledge in the field of hydraulics and together they developed the first prototype of its size-fir. It was not perfect, but it did the job better than humans and it never complained. At one point, he even asked two large producers, also members of the Association, to meet him with their two best tailor’s trees. While the two were running tailors in a row, it was the same in the other. They arrived together at the end of the row except that there was no comparison in the quality of the cut. In addition to having done everything alone without tiring, cutting all its pines was uniform. Meanwhile, he had been careful to protect his invention with patents in Canada and the United States. He never ceased to improve its product so that today it can even be used to carve cedar hedges. In addition, with this latest model, it has improved the time to size 75% so it can now cut of from 1.200 to 1.400 trees in 8 hours. Today, he went to the marketing stage, but does not yet know what will be its final decision. Will he sell his apparatus or become the best producer of Christmas trees, with its technology. Nice dilemma!