While driving down any American roadway it is not an unusual sight to see electrical lines, telephone poles, and cell phone towers. You may notice, however, that there do not seem to be enough cell phone towers in comparison to how many cell phone customers exist. This phenomenon is caused by the fact that you are not looking in the right places. Cell phone towers have gone into hiding, disguising themselves as trees, church steeples, and even gas station signs in an attempt to preserve the look of the landscape.
Cell phone towers are a necessary element to allow us to transmit our signals from cell phones and must be placed at appropriate intervals along the highway. Unlike other utility towers and poles, these structures are wireless and usually solitary. The number of towers needed in an area is directly proportional to the density of cell phone users. As different cell phone companies use different antennas that are all located on the same cell phone tower, these structures can be quite unsightly. Thus the cell phone tower began to be disguised.
Cell phone “trees” have become the most popular disguise that these technological giants assume. These “plants” come in every shape and form depending on what species of trees are close by to help them blend in. This disguise is usually part of a landscape theme or a forest. In the Pacific Northwest, Douglas firs are a popular species that are “planted” among the thick woods and forests in this mountainous region. In southern California, different species of “palm trees” blend in with their natural counterparts along the streets and boulevards. In the desert of Arizona, “cacti” are springing up in the most remote regions. While birds do not nest in these “trees, other wildlife call these towers home, such as various bugs and insects who do not seem to be able to distinguish these “plants” from the natural ones.
There are several advantages to these cell phone “trees” that natural trees do not have. The cell phone species do not lose their leaves and maintain their color indefinitely. They never need pruning or trimming and maintain their original shape in and out of season. Cell phone “trees” are also immune to diseases, tree parasites, and drought. These “trees” do not require watering or even soil for that matter. They can survive just as easily in concrete and can be “planted” anywhere. If you are a hay fever sufferer, there is also no pollen present.
Opponents argue that these cell phone “trees” are dangerous to the surrounding environment. These individuals point out the fact that was previously mentioned that birds do not nest in these “plants”, explaining that the birds may know something that we do not and claim that these “trees” are a potential health hazard. While there has long been a debate about cancer being linked to power lines and electrical towers, a possible link between this disease and cell phone towers is being hotly debated. Opponents also point out that while these cell phone “trees” look better that the traditional towers, the public may be exposing themselves to potential health hazards without even knowing that the towers are there. Of course, when these individuals are out locating these health-threatening towers, they are probably calling the locations in to their bosses on their cell phones.
Cell phone towers are a necessity to modern life, and if by disguising these mechanical monstrosities as beautiful trees can help us preserve the natural look of the surrounding environment, most people would agree that it is a beneficial policy.