A new cell phone tower was erected near a busy intersection in Portage, Michigan, but passersby probably won't recognize it.
That's because the 150-foot tower has been disguised as a pine tree. The pole has brown "bark" and covered with fake bark, and the antennae have been concealed to look like pine branches.
According to an MLive story, the tower/tree was installed by Verizon Wireless. They have installed "monopines" in several areas of Michigan, including locations in Bloomfield Township, Norton Shores, and Clarkston.
Adorned cell phone towers like the one in the Kalamazoo area are all over the United States. Have you driven past one without noticing? The people featured in this video think they're actual trees.
Naturally, the companies that create them also offer maintenance. Larson Camouflage offers services like "bark replacement," "palm tree rehab," and "branch density adjustment." Larson Camouflage started producing pine tree towers in 1992. Its first monopine tower is in Denver, to hide a particularly ugly tower.
When they are properly maintained, these things look pretty believable. But it's expensive. To dress up one tower, it costs around $150,000, according to a story in Wired. That's almost four times as much as it costs to erect a normal cell phone tower.
Is it worth it? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom