Fronds With Benefits: 10 Artificial Cellular Tower Trees

Cellular tower trees are the perfect ‘plants‘ for the post-modern age: they’re high-tech, low-maintenance, don’t disperse pollen and never need water.

Overseas Branch

As mobile phone usage has spread across the globe, so have cellular phone towers and the need to camouflage them. We gotta wonder, though, just who’s being fooled by the faux fronds? No doubt the neighborhood squirrels, woodpeckers and bark-boring beetles are less than impressed. Flickr member Alexandru Panoiu caught this non-living “electronic spruce” not livening-up the neighborhood in Băneasa, Bucharest, Romania back in April of 2012.

Two True Trees

This trio (or is it just a duo – the tree at far left could be a “plant”) of cellular tower trees reach to the sky along a roadside ridge near San Luis Obispo, CA. Flickr member devra has come up with a pseudo-scientific name for these essential yet oft-intrusive components of the mobile phone infrastructure – Pseudopinus telephoneyensis. Got a nice “ring” to it, doncha think?

Be-Leaf It Or Not

A lot goes into making cellular service towers blend into the background even if their success in doing so is debatable, to say the least. For one thing, their green plastic greenery needs to resist chronic fading from the sun’s UV rays. More importantly, the plastic must allow for the unimpeded transmission of relevant radio frequencies. Is it really asking too much for the result to be aesthetically pleasing? Flickr member aaron_anderer snapped the scruffy faux-pine above near a Livermore, CA fire station in November of 2018.

News Flash

You’d think members of what the Taiwanese call “the head-down tribe” would welcome infrastructure that facilitates such activities. Think again! To quote Flickr member Bill Selak, “Not 20 feet from my house, they decided to put up a new ‘tree’: this ridiculous looking cell tower that’s supposed to make me believe it’s a pine tree. Come on. Seriously? It looks like an ugly cell tower that flashes. I have never seen a perfectly straight, flashing pine tree.” That was in March of 2008… no doubt Bill has noticed plenty more perfectly straight, flashing pine trees since then.

Mast Hysteria

Flickr member William Murphy holds similar sentiments and isn’t afraid to air them. “Is this supposed to be ‘green technology’?,” he asked in November of 2016. “I think that you will agree that disguise wasn’t very convincing. In my opinion this is more ugly than an ordinary mast.” Having seen an unmodified cellular mast or two in our time, we’re inclined to agree. Perhaps the local utility could improve the visual appeal by topping the tower with a fake eagle’s nest. Or say, maybe a crow’s nest… they’re traditionally found on top of masts.

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