French Grow Suspicious Pine Trees

CellTreeThe GUARDIAN just got back from a week in France working on the day job, but with heart and mind still firmly tied to Boise.

We were driving through the Champagne area northeast of Paris when we spotted this perfectly straight tall pine tree. A little suspicious of this perfect speciman, we made a U-turn and stopped to photograph it for GUARDIAN readers.

It is the size we don’t see often in the Northwest these days, but closer examination showed the tree is a perfect example of a French word made popular in World War I–CAMOUFLAGE.

ORIGIN World War I: from French, from camoufler ‘to disguise’

This “tree” is actually a man made CELL PHONE TOWER. Sure would be nice to require a little french treatment on some Boise specimens.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Blazing Saddle
    Sep 23, 2009, 10:02 am

    Amen, to blending them in.

    In Arizona they dress the towers up to look like saguaro cacti. Don’t see why the make them look a little more pleasing around here.

  2. These are all over Arizona. Whenever I go to a course at Ft. Huachuca in southeast AZ there is one that sits right outside of the main gate. It is more of a palm tree shape but same theory and even the trunk when you get next to it can’t easily be identified as a none-tree.
    Definitely makes the scenery better and cleans up the skyline.

  3. We don’t do things like that in Boise. P&Z have been asked on more than one occasion to hide cell towers by making them look like trees and they always say no. You’d think that “progressive Boise” would do this, but no.

    For goodness sake, in North Idaho along the interstate, they hide cell towers by making them look like pine trees.

  4. Is it surrounded by chain link so somebody doesn’t try to cut it down? (Those nice straight logs would make a sweeeet cabin, huh?)

  5. Seems like a no brainer. Here is the one in CDA, kinda ugly. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM61HQ_Lake_Coeur_dAlene_Tree_Cell_Phone_Tower

    The proposed one near Galena Summit is supposed to be a disguised tower. I wish they would put one to cover Lucky Peak. Not so I can be connected but for safety sake. Too many crazies one the weekends.

  6. Seems like an obvious thing to require. Given the level of public opposition to cell towers, I am surprised more companies don’t propose camouflaged towers at the outset.

  7. Too bad Boise has the corner on the ugly market when it comes to new things. Remember the uproar when a good looking school was built in East Boise? Local pols can’t take the heat from the vocal lunatic minority. Compare the style of the original Boise City Hall with the current one. Quick , dirty and cheap has been the Boise mantra for at least 50 years. Idaho wages I’m sure have something to do with it.

    Why not make the Grove Hotel into a giant cell tower. It will always be ugly.

  8. Sara, the reason they say no to camouflage cell towers is because we let them. It is actually very simple. “You need a new cell tower, make it look like a tree! No tree, no tower!!” See, it is easy!!! “Oh, by the way, while you are doing that new one, you might as well get started on the others!”

  9. We may not want to make them look like trees. My reasoning is if it really is the cells that are causing the bee’s to be dying off. And cells need to be outlawed and back to pagers. There’s no way the environmentalist will allow all those trees to be taking down.

  10. ahhh, france, the land of cheap weapons…..dropped once never fired.

  11. There’s one like that located atop a hill between Coeur d’Alene and Harrison (east side of the lake). It looks like a large lone pine left standing after a hilltop was clear cut so it’s pretty visible — but at least it’s disguised as a tree and not a cell tower.

  12. Disguise cell towers? This is the place where Idaho Power said in 1970 that they would be burying their lines — first the new ones and then as they needed to work on older lines, get them underground too. Well, the phone company actually did that. Idaho Power has just put in bigger and better poles and then have been cutting our trees to shreds to keep them away from the still-unburied lines.

  13. We sure wouldn’t want any novel idea’s in Idaho, now would we.
    Wonder what it would take to get a news media to pick up on the idea.

  14. oh more NIMBY. you all have cell phones, but oh, the towers look bad.
    Hmmm…. AM radio stations go back 70+ years. You all want them taken down too? Get a life….


  15. I too have seen cell towers with camo to disguise their appearance along Hwy 14 in Lancaster, Ca. on my way to Los Angeles. You know they aren’t real trees but they are much more attractive than a stark cell tower.

    It really boils down to community expectations. No expectations equals no effort to make these things look attractive in our communities.

  16. Cheap and tired shot at the French inside of 10 posts. Nice.

  17. Nice try, but it’s a shame the folks in France (and those in Coeur d’Alene) couldn’t find somebody who actually knew what a tree looked like to design the towers.
    Keep trying, folks.

  18. Es machts nichts! Moot points about camo on cell towers. With the increasing numbers of commuters and general population in Idaho you soon won’t be able to see the towers through our ever thickening SMOG anyway.
    Even if we had fake trees to glimpse through the brown air we would be foolish indeed to take note of them. Any momentary distraction to our defensive driving could be disastrous. With all of the moronic texting drivers, the red light/STOP sign runners and the idiots with their cell phone in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other and the steering wheel on their elbows (or whatever it is that they attempt to steer with) any asthetics left here have been ruined anyway.

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