The electric tree

The terrier and I came across a suspicious-looking tree and this is a sort of emergency post to let you know.

Now I will be the first, or maybe the third, to admit that I do not have the world’s most vast collection of gardening experience, but I can say with confidence that a towering fir tree does not appear overnight.

tree tower2
This tree popped up like a mushroom, by a school where we sometimes take walks while we wait for our ninety-three-year-old relative to get a blood test or a brain scan or a twice-yearly physical exam or etc. at the clinic next door.

A giant tall fir tree, overnight.

I was uneasy; Max was intrigued.

Terrier investigates[No he is not asleep he is squinting into the light, taking in all the tiny details just like Jimmy Stewart in  Rear Window.]

Under cover of sun, we edged closer.

I just wish you could have been there–because it was the kind of dangerous mission I know you live for. I know it. Anyway, no one came and arrested us or took us into their space ship, or if they did we don’t remember, so we got a few more fabulous evidential images.

not a treeAs Robert Frost might say, “How like a tree, how very like a tree.” Except that the limbs are steel rebar and heaven knows what the “needles” are made of. Well okay plastic. And then there was some stuff stuck on the top, sending messages to the polar regions or Mars or AT&T.


We just thought, as gardeners, we should make certain that you know about this, in case these things start appearing for sale at Walmart (another reason to not shop there) or in your lessor-quality plant nurseries.

Max and I were mightily relieved to go home and poke around outside in the garden and try to forget that terrible not-tree.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you– and search online for “cell tower trees” if you want to see more horrific pseudo-lifeforms, including palms and yes even a saguaro cactus…

Now. Just for you, a few real hellebore blooms.

cheerful safe hellebore


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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32 Responses to The electric tree

  1. Chad B says:

    At least it’s an evergreen, right?

  2. Hi Linnie Girl,

    I don’t know… I’m kind of with Max–intrigued. Indeed it is a not-tree but maybe it is slightly prettier than a cell tower proper with all it’s wires and steel and ugliness.

    I’m also intrigued to do the Google thang and see that pseudo-cactus for meself. But before I go I will say that your Hellebores are the prettiest I’ve ever seen. My eyes thank you.

    The sun was pure bliss.

    • linniew says:

      I think it was a bit sneaky, as cell towers go I mean. I agree that the towers are not pretty, and maybe they need something– clematis vines?– to soften them up. Perhaps the phone companies all need a Gardening Division, and a fleet of electric powered vans to go around and create vertical gardens on towers, with a pulley system to access the pots and plumbing to get the water around. Why don’t they think of these things?

      My hellebore was in a group of volunteers and IS kind of different looking. Gracie you should help me name it I think.

  3. kininvie says:

    At least someone’s making an effort to disguise the nastiness. But it would be more praiseworthy if they had found a real tree to rig their stuff in, and then they could blame your inability to get a signal on squirrels. BTW what news of the a.blanda corms you bought at such enormous expense? I do hope they produced flowers and were not eaten by those strange underground people you wrote about.

    • linniew says:

      Oh Kininvie I am so excited about the anemone blanda plants that I will just let pass right by your blatant attempt to further scapegoat the poor innocent squirrels as well as my highly moral Brick People. Because just yesterday, when I was still seeking comfort in my garden after the Not-Tree incident, I noticed that indeed the little blue anemones are peeking up, the entire petite swath, and soon there will be blooms of which I shall not fail to post photos. Thanks for asking. Now perhaps you should go check on your fires and make sure you haven’t destroyed any squirrel habitat.

  4. Holleygarden says:

    Yuck! (To the tree, not your beautiful hellebore.) What will they think of next?! Do they really think this makes a giant cell phone tower look like it blends in with its surroundings? How long will those plastic needles last? As they deteriorate, there will be plastic needles blowing around, and then just steel – or rust. The more I think about this thing, the less I like it. I hope it’s doesn’t become a trend!

    • linniew says:

      Can’t you just imagine that soon ALL the trees outside our gardens will actually be cell towers? But Holley, the worst is that it does not look like a tree, no it just looks creepy. We know who only can make a tree and it isn’t the phone company.

  5. Sharon says:

    Ive seen these..they are ingenious

  6. I think it’s great. They can wrap ligjts around it and hang ornaments for Christmas.

  7. Peter says:

    I thought that the phone companies had become god. We carry them with us wherever we go, talk to them on a regular basis, and feel lost without them… The phone companies just need to work on the tree making thing. Give ’em a break, they’ve not been at it quite as long as the competition. Love you Hellebores!

    • linniew says:

      Okay Peter, I will be watching to see if the phone company fake trees evolve, as it were, over time. I will be precisely as patient with them as they are with me if a payment is late 😉

  8. Alberto says:

    Hey, hey, what’s this? A Post? You promised me, remember?!
    Anyway as it sounds more like a ‘J’accuse’ than a standard post I’m going to close an eye. OK, both.
    So those children are going to a school that not only looks like a prison but they also are having lunch under an antenna tree… I hope the fruits of that tree will at least look like an iPhone.
    Thanks God you posted some real hellebores to cheer me up.
    No I have to go and sign in for a brain scan asap, the thing is teasing me…

    (message for the wordpress men: if this comment is getting lost too I’m gonna switch to blogspot immediately, am I clear?).

    • Alberto says:

      you see? you always have to become menacing to obtain what you deserve…

      • linniew says:

        Well I kind of liked the iPhone-as-fruit image. (I hope they don’t get moldy.)

        You are many things Alberto but menacing is not one that comes to mind. Still I’m glad your idle threats worked with the ‘WordPress men’–at least half of whom are very likely women of course.

        Now try to be good– this popeless time won’t last long.

  9. Susan says:

    Our local church was persuaded to accept a cell tower on their property. No doubt they badly needed the cash. The thing is, the tower has a cross on the top of it. A disturbing mix of commerce and religion. I really like your idea of having plants growing on the towers. A by law requiring towers to have 50% plant coverage might work. Perhaps a tax break if it produced food for charitable organisations.

  10. It’s definitely weird looking but stands out more than a cell tower! Sheesh!

  11. b-a-g says:

    I knew you were growing those clematis cuttings for a reason.

  12. Bridget says:

    Jesus! That’s so scary. I suppose they think no one will notice the new brain fryer hiding in there. Bridget x

    • linniew says:

      Hi Bridget
      I say an honest tower beats a badly-made creepy phony tree any day. Towers swept under rugs make big bumps–if there are too many towers then that’s the issue to solve.

  13. a3acrefarm says:

    Thank you for a fine chuckle. Those cell tower/trees are odd looking – much too skinny, if you ask me. Will they provide lovely decorations at Christmas time?

  14. Your dog looks so much like Jimmy Stewart, it’s not even funny! And the tree. I wonder what all was involved? the meetings, the schematic, the personnel – an arborist to recommend limb placement, all the engineers. It had to have cost more than the conventional towers that are everywhere. I almost like it. It reminds me a little bit of a Twilight Zone where the couple is on the train and realize they’ve just been going around and around and when they get off the train they are in a fake little town, like the little towns that surround the miniature toy railroads. That is what your phoney baloney tree reminds me of.

    • linniew says:

      How did I miss that Twilight Zone? We watch a lot of them again these days. You are exactly right ‘berta, the tree is so like that, maybe with just a touch of Hitchcock dark humor added.

      And I wish I had the money they spent.

  15. Lyn says:

    I hope Max wasn’t too traumatised (Pseudo Tree Stress Disorder). I don’t know what to think about this one. It’s less ugly than a cell tower, but still… it’s just wrong, isn’t it? Or is it? Time for a soothing look at your lovely Hellebores. White with markings is unusual. I haven’t managed to find one yet, although I’ve been looking for a while. You don’t think the signals from the tower…

    • linniew says:

      Hi Lyn!
      The only problem Max had with the tree was that it was sort of inside a fence/building so he couldn’t get to it and…you know.

      Maybe you should look for hellebore plants in a nursery that is situated close to a phone tower, just to see about the markings issue. But really the tower-tree we studied is some miles away, so the freckled hellebore probably has more to do with the proximity of my windmill palm. (Trying to be really scientific here.)

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