Do they have tap roots?
September 25, 2004 8:58 AM   Subscribe

FraudFrond: There are over 32,000 cell phone towers in the U.S. disguised as fake trees, how many can you find? [via]
posted by falconred (16 comments total)
A better site. This company makes camouflaged cell towers as palm trees, cacti, boulders, church steeples, etc.
posted by fleener at 9:46 AM on September 25, 2004

In the Rochester, NY area they have at least one church steeple that is also a cell antenna. The church needed their steeple rebuilt and the church was in a good location, cell-wise, so it all worked out. The cell company actually pays them for it.
posted by tommasz at 9:46 AM on September 25, 2004

32,000!!? Holy crap!
posted by jaronson at 10:27 AM on September 25, 2004

What about birds who try to nest in them? I wonder what effect this amount of microwave radiation has on them...
posted by azazello at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2004

nitpick: They're disguised as real trees. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 11:07 AM on September 25, 2004

...but they're so artifical that they look like they're disguised as fake trees.
posted by register at 11:46 AM on September 25, 2004

I prefer the cell phone tower as art. (Or what should simply be a well designed cell phone tower. Is there something so wrong with that?)

While lookinig for that, I found this: Antenna Jesus!
posted by Dick Paris at 12:21 PM on September 25, 2004

Saw my first (someone pointed it out) about 3 months ago. It looks fake enough that I always notice it now, but it looks real enough to fool probably 99 percent of the people flying by.
posted by justgary at 1:39 PM on September 25, 2004

We have one that's right next to a church near me that's disguised as part of the church. You can't actually tell what it is ... it just looks like a detached bell tower, and they actually put bells up in it too.
posted by SpecialK at 1:49 PM on September 25, 2004

tower as art.

(But not for cell phones.)
posted by tss at 2:48 PM on September 25, 2004

There's one right by me, on the Merritt Parkway in a fairly heavily wooded stretch in Greenwich, CT. It looks positively asinine as it fashioned to look like a Sequoia or some other non-indigenous tree that is half again as high as all the deciduous trees that surround it. It doesn't offend my sensibilities or anything, but it just looks silly, like the people who put it there put it there as a joke.
posted by psmealey at 4:07 PM on September 25, 2004

There's one like psmealey is describing, on Route 2 in Massachusetts between Fitchburg and the I-495 junction. And, just like that one, this one's not fooling anyone - not even gullible Utahns like me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:42 PM on September 25, 2004

damn, tss, that's one snazzy looking telecommunications tower. i'm not really sure it can beat the serial experiments lain chic of the more traditional sort, though... [always had a soft spot for 'em]
posted by ubersturm at 7:10 PM on September 25, 2004

I think the effort to hide or disguise them is a good thing. In fact, it surprises me really. I would expect them to be proudly displayed and full of advertising.
posted by Witty at 7:24 AM on September 26, 2004

Not so surprising at all if you've ever encountered or heard about the acrimonious, drawn-out debates that occur in the communities where these wind up being placed.

Didn't see this one on the site, but there's a great one visible from I-88 just east of Binghamton. It's way off on a rolling hill, in the midst of a great sweeping vista of unspoiled scenery, sticking up three times as far as any other tree, but then with the pathetic tree-fakery on the top third. Always good for a laugh.
posted by soyjoy at 8:08 PM on September 26, 2004

Oh my...

About 12 years ago, I did a "proof-of-concept" rendering for a company that designed this, for them to pitch to municipalities and cell phone companies. The point was that most people think an unadorned cell phone antenna tower is "unsightly" and that it messes up the aesthetics of their communities; these faux trees were an attempt at pacifying local planning boards to get towers put up everywhere. I guess they were successful, huh?

Here's the only version of the rendering I can grab quickly:

The pole and the building behind it are CG, 3D-modeled and rendered in trueSpace 2.0 from the engineer's paper plans. I did the "branches" at top by copying branches from the trees below in the image. I did model the actual antennae at the top of the tower but obviously it's hidden by the branches...

Sorry everybody. They paid me pretty well for the work. :|
posted by zoogleplex at 1:53 PM on September 27, 2004

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