Function Guide: The Tree Perc

Posted by Amanda Depperschmidt on


Percs are the glass structures inside the main water chamber of a pipe that help to filter smoke through the water.  A high-functioning perc means a smoother hit for you and a fresher taste from your flower or concentrate.  Percs are what make a pipe, and this week’s function guide takes a look at the popular and stylish tree perc.


What makes a tree perc?

The tree perc is named for its tree-like appearance, including a main stem and various branches that extend downwards towards the base of the perc.  At the end of each “branch” of the tree perc there are typically two to three slats for water and smoke to pass through.  This means that when you take a chug and the water and smoke rises through the pipe, the smoke and water will filter through the slats, producing a cleaner and fresher hitThe tree perc is one of the most high-functioning percolators available on the market, hence its popularity, but it is not without its own downsides.  One of the main complaints smokers have with the tree perc is that its many slats require a stronger pull on the part of the smoker to completely filter all the smoke.  Others might tell you that the tree perc can be difficult to clean without an ashcatcher as pieces of flower or concentrate can get caught inside the perc.  However, most pipes that use the tree perc keep this in mind, and provide an extra chamber to promote better flow and to catch extra ash.


Functionality of the tree perc

Many smokers determine how well the functionality of a percolator works based on the bubbles it forms.  Many smaller bubbles might be an indication of better filtration, since more pockets of air can better work together to diffuse the smoke.  Because the tree perc offers many different branches with tiny slats, you’re likely to get hundreds of tiny bubbles with a properly functioning tree perc.  Expect clean hits with a pipe that uses a tree perc; the harshness of smoke may not hit you as hard, but you may end up missing out on some of your flower or concentrate’s natural flavors.  We recommend the tree perc to smokers who prefer a utilitarian approach to their smoking seshes, and are looking for a way to get hit after successful hit without having to worry about the taste of their hit.  It’s also great for beginner smokers who have strong lung capabilities but still want to avoid the dreaded smoker’s cough.


Tree perc in action

For a classic look at a tree perc in action, check out Smoke Cartel’s “Honey Tree.”  The “Honey Tree” boasts a lower chamber that consists of two honeycomb percs, and an upper chamber featuring an 8-arm tree perc.  The “Honey Tree’s” base chamber helps get that chug going so as to reduce the difficult pull that tree percs often have.  You can see the tree perc in action by checking out the “Honey Tree’s” product video.  Notice the diffusion created by the tree perc itself; the tree perc produces tons of small bubbles, with an extra momentum created by the lower honeycomb percs.  This is an ideal setup for a pipe that primarily utilizes the tree perc, and it comes with a fashionable bonus of three different colors.


Other examples of the tree perc

The Treehouse” is an example of a tree perc used as part of an oil rig.  Though the tree perc is often associated with scientific glass dry herb pipes, “The Treehouse” reimagines the function of the tree perc for use with oils and concentrates.  “The Treehouse” uses an inline and inverted showerhead to provide more momentum for the smoke and water to diffuse within the 8-arm tree perc in the central chamber.  And for ease of cleaning, there is even a recycler funnel at the top.


For a crazy tree perc experience with dry herbs, Three Monkey Designs brings you a massive 18-inch straight neck complete with a tree perc and detachable glycerin coil.  At the base of this pipe sits an inline perc, which is where most of your major diffusion will happen.  In the second chamber sits the tree perc, and combined with that extra glycerin coil for you to freeze, you’ll get yourself some of the cleanest hits you can experience.


If you want to bring the magic of the tree perc to a piece you already own, there’s also UPC’s three-armed tree perc ashcatcher available for any basic 14.5mm female joint.  With this attachment, you can bring an element of flexibility to your setup.  Ash catchers always make cleaning your pipe a breeze, so now you can get all the benefits of the tree perc without having to worry about the mess quite so much.


Smoke Cartel always keeps a fresh stock of tree perc pieces available, so keep checking for more in our shop by perc section.  And if the tree perc isn’t necessarily the percolator for you, keep checking our knowledge base for our next function guide.  Happy smoking!

Blog posts are contributed by third-party sources and do not reflect the views or business of Smoke Cartel.

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