Absurd and Scary
Voit isn't sure who began the phenomenon, which originated in the early 1990s, when cell-phone companies began camouflaging their giant reception towers. But a company in Tucson, Arizona, claims to have built the first one in 1992. "Mostly they try to put these tree disguises in areas where they think other towers would stick out too much," he says. "In South Africa, in the townships, they didn't want to have vandalism against mobile phones, so they put up the fake trees. It's totally absurd, and it's scary. But what the heck, we all have mobile phones in our pockets! Actually, I like some of them a little bit, and I hate them too. It's always this mixture. Some of them are really well made, like these huge cacti in Arizona. I would want to have one in my garden, if I had a garden."