Faux Palm Sprouts in Tucsonby Ben McNitt on Jul. 17, 2009, under arts
A MOST UNUSUAL palm tree has just sprouted on the far Northwest side.
In what you might term a creative attempt to deal with a technical problem, the urethane, polyethylene and polyester fronds atop this 40-foot palm conceal (sort of) a newly installed set of microwave transmitters.
This particular palm tower is leased by Crown Communications on land owned by the Town of Marana at a water tank site on Linda Vista Ave. just west of Hartman. The Marana Council approved the lease last November. Crown leases the tower to AT&T to fill a gap in cell phone coverage. Two real palms are planted close to the fake one to help it blend in.
Plans for a similar palm tower were shelved a few months ago when residents of Continental Ranch neighborhood near Twin Peaks loudly complained about threats to home values.
Tucson is also home to Larson Camouflage, described on its website as “an international designer and builder of naturalistic wireless site concealment.” They operate a 150,000 square foot manufacturing site on 17 acres on south Euclid producing not only palm, but pine, boulder and saguaro options.
The “increased demand for concealment,” Larson notes, is driven by “an increased need for quality sites.”