US3386608A - Multiple-cell molded plastic tray - Google Patents

Multiple-cell molded plastic tray Download PDF

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Publication number
US3386608A
US3386608A US63844767A US3386608A US 3386608 A US3386608 A US 3386608A US 63844767 A US63844767 A US 63844767A US 3386608 A US3386608 A US 3386608A
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Prior art keywords
trays
cells
upper
tray
grooves
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Diller Kenneth
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Diller Kenneth
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D1/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece, e.g. by casting metallic material, by moulding plastics, by blowing vitreous material, by throwing ceramic material, by moulding pulped fibrous material, by deep-drawing operations performed on sheet material
    • B65D1/22Boxes or like containers with side walls of substantial depth for enclosing contents
    • B65D1/26Thin-walled containers, e.g. formed by deep-drawing operations
    • B65D1/30Groups of containers joined together end-to-end or side-by-side
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01GHORTICULTURE; CULTIVATION OF VEGETABLES, FLOWERS, RICE, FRUIT, VINES, HOPS OR SEAWEED; FORESTRY; WATERING
    • A01G9/00Receptacles, forcing-frames or greenhouses for horticulture; Edging for beds, lawn or the like
    • A01G9/02Receptacles, e.g. flower-pots or boxes; Glasses for cultivating flowers
    • A01G9/029Pots for seedlings
    • A01G9/0295Units comprising two or more connected receptacles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D21/00Nestable, stackable or joinable containers; Containers of variable capacity
    • B65D21/02Containers specially shaped, or provided with fittings or attachments, to facilitate nesting, stacking, or joining together
    • B65D21/04Open-ended containers shaped to be nested when empty and to be superposed when full
    • B65D21/043Identical stackable containers specially adapted for nesting after rotation around a vertical axis
    • B65D21/045Identical stackable containers specially adapted for nesting after rotation around a vertical axis about 180° only

Description

June 4, 1968 K/DILLER MULTIPLE-CELL MOLDED PLASTIC TRAY Filed May 15, 1967 United States Patent 3,386,608 MULTIPLE-CELL MOLDED PLASTIC TRAY Kenneth Diller, Box 320, East Jordan, Mich. 49727 Filed May 15, 1967, Ser. No. 638,447 2 Claims. (Cl. 220-236) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A multiple-cell molded plastic tray which is nestable with similar trays for shipment or storage, yet the trays are easily separated when desired for use. Each cell has a generally square cross section; and they are connected in parallel rows by means of an integral top edge. These connecting edges define crescent-shaped grooves which provide overflow channels communicating between adjacent cells. The grooves are spaced in the connecting edges such that the trays may be nested wherein the bottom of a groove of an upper tray engages the straight portion of the connecting edge of the tray beneath it. This structure prevents complete nesting of the trays.

Background The present invention relates to multiple-cell molded plastic trays; and more particularly to such trays that may be nested when packed for shipment or storage.

The trays with which the present invention is concerned are advantageously used as individual receptacles for cultivating separate plants and the like, so that each plant may be removed as a unit without having its roots intermingle with roots of adjacent plants.

Molded plastic trays having a plurality of individual cells or compartments joined into an integral unit at their upper edge are being used; however, when these units have been nested by superposing one on the other, it has been very difilcult to separate the trays if even the slightest force has been exerted to squeeze them together. This is due primarily to the fact that the cell walls are tapered,

and they have a generally square cross section which decreases from the top to the bottom of the cell for nesting. Hence, there is considerable contacting surface area between nested cells. This contacting surface area becomes even larger when it is considered that a tray ,may be formed having 96 such cells.

Summary My invention contemplates an arrangement of overflow channels formed in the top edges of adjacent cells in an integral unit such that superposed units are prevented from completely nesting.

The cells have a generally square horizontal cross section, and they are arranged in parallel rows and columns so that the upper edges of the cells will intersect at right angles. In one embodiment, the instant invention provides that the overflow channels of one set of parallel upper edges be located at the middle of the upper edge. The overflow channels in the upper edges running perpendicular to the first set are offset with respect to the middle of the edge so that when a unit is rotated 180 before nesting with another unit, the offset grooves will be out of alignment and engage the straight portion of the edges beneath them.

With this preferred arrangement of overflow grooves and with alternate trays thus rotated, the units may be nested for shipment or storage without fear of their sticking so tightly together that they may not be separated when it is desired to use them.

Other features and advantages of the instant invention will be obvious to persons skilled in the art from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment Patented June 4, 1968 accompanied by the attached drawing in. which identical reference numerals will refer to like parts in the various views.

The drawing FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a molded plastic tray according to the instant invention;

FIG. 2 is a side section view of the tray of FIG. 1 taken through the sight line 22; and

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of a unit of the tray of FIG. 1.

Detailed description Turning to FIG. 1, there is seen two separate trays as nested according to the instant invention. The trays are identical, but as will be clear from subsequent discussion, they have been rotated relative to each other before stacking. The upper tray is designated 8; and the lower tray designated 9.

Each tray includes an arrangement of four separatable, identical units of cells or compartments wherein each unit consists of an integral set of four cells having a generally square horizontal cross section. The units of tray 8 are generally designated respectively as 10, 11, 12 and 13. The units 10-13 are identical in their individual structure, and for brevity, only the unit 10 will be described in detail, it being kept in mind that whatever is disclosed relative to the unit 10 will likewise be true for the units 11, 12 and 13. However, it will be noted that all of the indivilual cells are arranged in parallel rows and columns.

Turning then to the unit 10, it is seen that an upper peripheral rim 14 defines the basic unit. Depending from the rim 14 are four individual cells designated respectively as 15, 16, 17 and 18. Each of the cells 15-18 has a generally square cross section which decreases from the top to the bottom of the cell for nesting when the trays are stacked. To facilitate nesting, adjacent cells are joined only at the top edges. This is illustrated by the upper edge 19 which is integral with adjacent sides of the respective cells 15 and 16.

Similarly, an upper edge 20 is integral with adjacent sides of the cells 16 and 17; an upper edge 21 is integral with adjacent sides of the cells 17 and 18; and an upper edge 22 is integral with adjacent sides of the cells 15 and '18. It will be noted that the upper edges 19 and 21 define a line of intersection with the upper edges 20 and 22. The point of intersection defined by the perpendicular lines formed by the upper edges is identified by reference numeral 23.

Each of the upper edges 1922 further defines a hemispherical groove extending toward the bottoms of the cells and providing an overflow channel for relief when one of the cells has been filled with excess water. These grooves are identified respectively by reference numerals 19a, 20a, 21a and 22a.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the semicircular grooves 20a and 22a are equidistant from the intersection point 23; and they are located centrally of their respective edges 20 and 22. The grooves 19a and 21a are offset in the direction of the unit 11. That is, the groove 21a is closer to the intersection point 23 than either of the grooves 20a or 22a; and the groove 19a is further from the intersection point 23 than either of these centrally-located grooves.

In FIG. 2 there is shown a vertical section view of the nested trays 8 and 9 taken through one of the centrallylocated grooves. As shown therein, an upper edge 25 defining an offset groove 25a is in line with an upper edge 2.6 defining an offset groove 26a. The lower tray 9 is identical to the upper tray 8. except that it has been rotated 180 so that the unit equalivent to the unit 13 in tray 8 is placed beneath the unit 11. This is identified by refierence numeral 13' in FIG. 1. When thus arranged, it is seen that an upper edge 27 of the unit 13' defines a groove 27a and an upper edge 28 defines a groove 28a. The grooves 27a: and 28a are shifted to the right of the grooves 25:; and 26a when the trays 8 and 9 have been rotated 180 relative to each other and stacked. Hence, the lower edge of the groove 25a of tray 8 will rest on a straight portion of the upper edge 28 of tray 9. In this manner, superposed trays are prevented from completely nesting into a lower tray, and this has been found to be of great advantage in separating the trays when it is desired to use them. What otherwise would be considered a substantial amount of pressure may be exerted on a stack of trays; and, yet, they may be easily separated.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the bottom of the unit 10 of tray 8; and as is commonly practiced, each of the units comprising a complete tray are separatable from the other units along score lines in their upper rims, as identified by reference numerals 30 and 31 in FIG. 1. As clearly illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the side walls of each of the individual cells defines a decreasing cross section away from its upper rim.

Apertures are provided in the fillets between the bottom and side walls of each cell for drainage purposes. These apertures are identified by reference numeral 33 in the drawing, and they are located centrally of each side wall. As seen in FIG. 3, the centrally located grooves 20a and 22a are intermediate adjacent apertures 33; whereas the offset grooves 19a and 22a are displaced from this intermediate location.

In describing a preferred method of manufacturing multiple-cell molded plastic trays wherein the units comprise 2 x 2 cells, a convention will be made that as an observer addresses the finished tray in an upright position as ejected from the mold, those parallel cells in line with his vision line are columns whereas those transverse are rows. The mold is designed so that a total of six trays may be produced at one time, each tray having eight units of four columns and two rows. Each unit has four cells (two by two). Hence, a total of 192 cells are produced at one time, and they are arranged in 48 columns and 4 rows.

The offset grooves are in the upper edges which separate the columns and the centrally-located grooves are in the upper edges which separate the rows. In the three trays on the left, those grooves which are furthest offset from the intersection point (23 in FIG. 1) of the upper edges of the side walls (corresponding to grooves 19a and 25a in FIG. 1) are closest to the observer. In the three trays on the right, the mold produces units such that these same grooves are farthest from the observer. After the trays have been scored, the three left side trays are simply lifted and nested onto the right side trays. Hence, the offset grooves will be arranged to alternate as shown in FIG. 2. The two nested trays are then moved to the side. By repeating this same motion, a stack is built with as many trays as is desired, and they are arranged in alternating fashion such that no two contacting trays may be completely nested.

It will be noted that units of four which have just been described are about 5% inches square. Approximately this same size has been used for units of 3 x 2 cells, 3 x 3 cells, and 4 x 4 cells. It is further noted that although 180 of rotation of alternate trays has been described and illustrated, a rotation will also be effective to prevent sticking of adjacent'trays.

Having thus described in detail a preferred embodiment of a multiple-cell molded plastic tray which will not stick if properly stacked, it will be obvious to persons skilled in the art that the particular arrangement and number of grooves may easily be changed without departing from the principle of my invention. It is therefore intended that all such modifications and equivalents be covered as they are embraced within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A multiple-cell plastic tray comprising a plurality of cells, adjacent cells joined by an integral, straight upper connecting edge, facing side walls of adjacent cells depending from said connecting edge in spaced relation whereby two of said trays may be nested, said connecting edges defining a groove extending transverse of said edge and including a surface projecting downwardly from said connecting edge and into said spaced-apart side Walls whereby the upper region of adjacent cells joined by said edge communicate with each other through said groove, the groove defined by at least one of said connecting edges displaced from the longitudinal center thereof, whereby trays may be stacked with a groove of an upper tray engaging a connecting edge of a lower tray thereby preventing sticking of said tray when nested.

2. A plurality of trays as set forth in claim 1 wherein said cells have a generally square cross section and are arranged in rows on said tray, said connecting edges defining perpendicular intersecting lines with all of said offset grooves being contained in connecting edges extending in the same direction and with alternate trays being rotated with respect to its adjacent trays to prevent sticking.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,587,852 4/1952 Iahn 22023.6 X 3,009,291 11/ 1961 Blackrnore. 3,195,770 7/1965 Robertson 22023.6

THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.

GEORGE E. LOWRANCE, Examiner.

US3386608A 1967-05-15 1967-05-15 Multiple-cell molded plastic tray Expired - Lifetime US3386608A (en)

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Cited By (36)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3476282A (en) * 1968-02-05 1969-11-04 Foster Monaco Display-type food server
US3480178A (en) * 1968-09-16 1969-11-25 Henry Z Morgan Containers that are compactly nestable when empty and stackable in spaced relation when full
US3502241A (en) * 1968-03-25 1970-03-24 Phillips Petroleum Co Compartmented tray reinforced against bending
DE2047412A1 (en) * 1969-09-29 1971-05-06
DE2146610A1 (en) * 1971-09-07 1973-03-22 Kaupert Guenter Dr Ing A stack aufeinanderschichtbare sorted deposits
US3751852A (en) * 1971-02-12 1973-08-14 Fabri Kal Corp Plastic planter flat
US3874503A (en) * 1973-01-04 1975-04-01 Becton Dickinson Co Device for housing and retaining small volumes of gelled media
US3884381A (en) * 1972-08-04 1975-05-20 Gunther Kaupert Nestable compartmentalized trays
US3982655A (en) * 1972-08-04 1976-09-28 Gunther Kaupert Nestable compartmentalized trays
US4118892A (en) * 1976-02-06 1978-10-10 Sekisui Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Connectable nursery box structures having compartmentalizing grids
US4294931A (en) * 1979-12-26 1981-10-13 Biospherics Incorporated Device for conducting microbiological radiorespirometric assays
US4301924A (en) * 1979-07-05 1981-11-24 General Electric Company Reflector unit for photoflash array
US4558782A (en) * 1983-02-07 1985-12-17 Imperial Plastics, Inc. Point of sales package for cassette tape cartridges
US4646921A (en) * 1985-08-01 1987-03-03 Diversified Group, Inc. Packaging and display container
US4684013A (en) * 1984-09-11 1987-08-04 T. O. Plastics, Inc. Automatic loading tray for thin-walled plastic flower pots
US4970824A (en) * 1988-01-08 1990-11-20 Visser's-Gravendeel Holding B.V. Apparatus for gripping balls containing plants
US5131185A (en) * 1989-11-01 1992-07-21 Wingerden Aart V Apparatus and method for propagating, growing and handling plants
US5379550A (en) * 1992-04-06 1995-01-10 Curtec Nederland B.V. Carrier for bulbous plants
US6106137A (en) * 1998-02-20 2000-08-22 Lorin Industries, Inc. Reflector for automotive exterior lighting
US6266919B1 (en) * 1999-01-20 2001-07-31 J. R. Johnson Supply, Inc. Method and apparatus for containing plants
US6612459B2 (en) * 2001-09-04 2003-09-02 Todd Young Nestable multiple compartment tray for faux painting material and applicators
US20040079263A1 (en) * 2001-01-24 2004-04-29 Tagawa Kenneth K Plant growing system to maximize transplant yield
US20040251703A1 (en) * 2003-06-12 2004-12-16 Barry Griffith Carrier for plant starter pots
US6915607B2 (en) 2001-06-08 2005-07-12 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Operational system for transplanting growing plants
US20060108368A1 (en) * 2004-10-13 2006-05-25 Claude Dube Storing container
US20070068075A1 (en) * 2001-01-24 2007-03-29 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Plant Punch Methods and Apparatus
US20070130828A1 (en) * 2003-02-25 2007-06-14 Bernard Mathy Water storage device for growing a lawn surface
US20080168710A1 (en) * 2007-01-15 2008-07-17 Mackenzie David S Modular Planting System For Roof Applications
US20090145870A1 (en) * 2007-12-05 2009-06-11 Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, Llc Collapsible support apparatus and methods
US20090320364A1 (en) * 2007-01-15 2009-12-31 Mackenzie David S Modular planting system for roof applications
US8707618B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2014-04-29 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
USD758914S1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-06-14 Hortech, Inc. Planter riser
USD758915S1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-06-14 Hortech, Inc. Planter riser
USD763105S1 (en) * 2013-11-11 2016-08-09 Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. Container
US20160280413A1 (en) * 2013-11-20 2016-09-29 Cascades Canada Ulc Container with detachable compartments
USD783421S1 (en) * 2016-01-05 2017-04-11 Van Belle Nursery Inc. Seedling tray

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2587851A (en) * 1949-11-16 1952-03-04 Int Harvester Co Adjustable shaft hanger
US3009291A (en) * 1958-04-23 1961-11-21 Plastiform Company Planter
US3195770A (en) * 1963-02-18 1965-07-20 Holley Plastics Company Plastic capsule packaging

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2587851A (en) * 1949-11-16 1952-03-04 Int Harvester Co Adjustable shaft hanger
US3009291A (en) * 1958-04-23 1961-11-21 Plastiform Company Planter
US3195770A (en) * 1963-02-18 1965-07-20 Holley Plastics Company Plastic capsule packaging

Cited By (49)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3476282A (en) * 1968-02-05 1969-11-04 Foster Monaco Display-type food server
US3502241A (en) * 1968-03-25 1970-03-24 Phillips Petroleum Co Compartmented tray reinforced against bending
US3480178A (en) * 1968-09-16 1969-11-25 Henry Z Morgan Containers that are compactly nestable when empty and stackable in spaced relation when full
DE2047412A1 (en) * 1969-09-29 1971-05-06
US3751852A (en) * 1971-02-12 1973-08-14 Fabri Kal Corp Plastic planter flat
DE2146610A1 (en) * 1971-09-07 1973-03-22 Kaupert Guenter Dr Ing A stack aufeinanderschichtbare sorted deposits
US3884381A (en) * 1972-08-04 1975-05-20 Gunther Kaupert Nestable compartmentalized trays
US3982655A (en) * 1972-08-04 1976-09-28 Gunther Kaupert Nestable compartmentalized trays
US3874503A (en) * 1973-01-04 1975-04-01 Becton Dickinson Co Device for housing and retaining small volumes of gelled media
US4118892A (en) * 1976-02-06 1978-10-10 Sekisui Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Connectable nursery box structures having compartmentalizing grids
US4301924A (en) * 1979-07-05 1981-11-24 General Electric Company Reflector unit for photoflash array
US4294931A (en) * 1979-12-26 1981-10-13 Biospherics Incorporated Device for conducting microbiological radiorespirometric assays
US4558782A (en) * 1983-02-07 1985-12-17 Imperial Plastics, Inc. Point of sales package for cassette tape cartridges
US4684013A (en) * 1984-09-11 1987-08-04 T. O. Plastics, Inc. Automatic loading tray for thin-walled plastic flower pots
US4646921A (en) * 1985-08-01 1987-03-03 Diversified Group, Inc. Packaging and display container
US4970824A (en) * 1988-01-08 1990-11-20 Visser's-Gravendeel Holding B.V. Apparatus for gripping balls containing plants
US5131185A (en) * 1989-11-01 1992-07-21 Wingerden Aart V Apparatus and method for propagating, growing and handling plants
US5379550A (en) * 1992-04-06 1995-01-10 Curtec Nederland B.V. Carrier for bulbous plants
US6106137A (en) * 1998-02-20 2000-08-22 Lorin Industries, Inc. Reflector for automotive exterior lighting
US6113247A (en) * 1998-02-20 2000-09-05 Lorin Industries, Inc. Reflector for automotive exterior lighting
US6266919B1 (en) * 1999-01-20 2001-07-31 J. R. Johnson Supply, Inc. Method and apparatus for containing plants
US20110162274A9 (en) * 2001-01-24 2011-07-07 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Plant punch methods and apparatus
US20040079263A1 (en) * 2001-01-24 2004-04-29 Tagawa Kenneth K Plant growing system to maximize transplant yield
US6779300B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2004-08-24 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Plant growing system to maximize transplant yield
US20070068075A1 (en) * 2001-01-24 2007-03-29 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Plant Punch Methods and Apparatus
US20050045079A1 (en) * 2001-01-24 2005-03-03 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Transplant yield maximization system for growing plants
US7069693B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2006-07-04 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Transplant yield maximization system for growing plants
US7984583B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2011-07-26 Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, Llc Plant punch methods and apparatus
US6915607B2 (en) 2001-06-08 2005-07-12 Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc. Operational system for transplanting growing plants
US6612459B2 (en) * 2001-09-04 2003-09-02 Todd Young Nestable multiple compartment tray for faux painting material and applicators
US8371066B2 (en) * 2003-02-25 2013-02-12 Prm Water storage device for growing a lawn surface
US20070130828A1 (en) * 2003-02-25 2007-06-14 Bernard Mathy Water storage device for growing a lawn surface
US20040251703A1 (en) * 2003-06-12 2004-12-16 Barry Griffith Carrier for plant starter pots
US20060108368A1 (en) * 2004-10-13 2006-05-25 Claude Dube Storing container
US7588162B2 (en) * 2004-10-13 2009-09-15 Rousseau Metal Inc. Storing container
US20090320364A1 (en) * 2007-01-15 2009-12-31 Mackenzie David S Modular planting system for roof applications
US20080168710A1 (en) * 2007-01-15 2008-07-17 Mackenzie David S Modular Planting System For Roof Applications
US9565805B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2017-02-14 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
US8555546B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2013-10-15 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
US8707618B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2014-04-29 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
US9095097B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2015-08-04 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
US9097022B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2015-08-04 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
US9338947B2 (en) 2007-01-15 2016-05-17 Hortech, Inc. Modular planting system for roof applications
US20090145870A1 (en) * 2007-12-05 2009-06-11 Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, Llc Collapsible support apparatus and methods
USD763105S1 (en) * 2013-11-11 2016-08-09 Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. Container
US20160280413A1 (en) * 2013-11-20 2016-09-29 Cascades Canada Ulc Container with detachable compartments
USD758914S1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-06-14 Hortech, Inc. Planter riser
USD758915S1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-06-14 Hortech, Inc. Planter riser
USD783421S1 (en) * 2016-01-05 2017-04-11 Van Belle Nursery Inc. Seedling tray

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