Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Something stinks, but it's not the trees

I went to take a walk in the woods at Fox Run Regional Park yesterday. At the trailhead I was greeted by a sign that said "TO PREVENT XMAS THEFT TREES HAVE BEEN TREATED TO SMELL BAD AT ROOM TEMP."

Yeah, right. Not that I want people to steal trees from the county park, but this statement ranks right up there with "SPEED CHECKED BY AIRCRAFT."

A quick search of the Web shows no bad-smelling product to spray on evergreens to prevent theft.

Ironically, the park also desperately needs to be thinned after several decades of fire suppression. Maybe letting a few permitted tree cutters in isn't such a bad idea.


1 comment:

Jeff Thomas said...


Maybe Fox Run is too large to conduct wholesale spraying, but the concept is one that has been employed before:

Access #: 10087972
Paper: The Gazette
Headline:Smelly trees deter would-be thieves/ When brought indoors, pungent aroma reigns
Date: 12/14/03
Section: METRO
Page: METRO3

About nine years ago, Colorado Springs was having
problems with people chopping down spruce trees on
public land at Christmas.

Sometimes they disappeared in forested areas, and sometimes thieves cut them down in the middle of the medians on Nevada or Willamette avenues. About a dozen a year were lost at most, but some of them were pretty valuable old conifers.

City forester Jim McGannon sniffed out an idea to cut down on the thefts. What if, he wondered, the trees were made to stink like high heaven after they were chopped?

Enter a lovely combination of skunk spray and fox urine.

Right about this time every year - in fact, it happened last week - city workers coat a few hundred of the older and better park trees with that aroma.

The trees don't smell when they're left outside. People would have to walk right up to them and pretty much press their noses against the bark to even tell it's there.

But cut that baby down and bring indoors and . . . well, the scent of hollies and berries isn't the one permeating the house anymore.

At least fox urine ought to be in ample supply at the park!