When Is A Christmas Tree PERFECTLY Safe?

Here’s when. I thought this article was a joke. Then I thought the tree was. Then I remembered: We are living in 2009.

This cone-tree, erected in a public square, has no pine needles to poke an eye out, no branches to clobber anyone, no feature at all to remind us that trees — and people — live in the real world. And maybe come spring  the town will erect a shoe box representing that other great threat to humanity:  the Easter Bunny. — Lenore

51 Responses

  1. how ridiculous!! ‘elf and safety gone mad (excuse my shameless pun- it is the festive season you know)

  2. But…what if someone is skydiving and falls onto the pointy top???

  3. hahahahaha. well now that i know christmas trees might be dangourus il bear in mind to avoid them lol. oh no maybe a child could choke on wrapping paper so mustent give them presents, infact im thinkin christmas is just far to dangourus, i think i might cancel it this year hahahahahahahaahahahahaha (joke). it’s madness, we are taking away so many valuable experiences away from children also were taking the fun out of being a kid. people bear in mind you could be run down by a bus after stepping out your door so don’t eva leave your homes hahaha (joke). by overprotecting children we are simply bringing them up to be unequiped to be able to cope and look after themselves when they have to be adults in the real world xx

  4. health and safety has gone mad these days

  5. Um… I think I could come up with a better design than that for a cone tree. If you’re going to make a tree a cone, then you should at least decorate it in some contemporary and pretty manner- really, astroturf???

    For the amount they spent, I would think they would be able to secure an artificial or real tree to prevent it from toppling over (which is a reasonable concern, having strong winds blow over your tree isn’t much fun, however if winds were strong enough to topple over a tree I would assume most sane people would be indoors to prevent the wind from toppling them over). Or they could have set up a bunch of smaller Christmas trees, and have area organizations decorate them- those buildings should provide an adequate wind break, too, for most normalish sized trees.

    Really. If this was the only solution they could come up with, they’re idiots. That thing is fugly.

  6. Good Grief! What an ugly monstrosity! I’m speechless!

  7. wow. that is one ugly tree. cone. what if a strong wind pulls the astroturf loose and it flies into a nearby street onto someone’s windshield and causes a terrible wreck? i wonder how many injuries they’ve had from real trees over the years?

  8. We setup our (artificial) Christmas tree this weekend and let our 3 yr old help decorate. Did he find out the hard way that those branches are scratchy? Yes. He got a small scrape right across the cheek. It was a tearful few minutes and I hated to see him get hurt. But will he remember that and be more careful around the tree? Yes, I think so.

    That scrape will be far more memorable than me nagging him a dozen (or two) times to steer clear of the tree branches. Experience trumps words nearly every time.

  9. Coming from a family of non-traditional Christmas trees, I like it. It has a nice shape and hints at the essence of an evergreen tree. I’m curious what it looks like in the dark with the built in lights lit. But to erect such a tree in a public space and claim it was for “health and safety” reasons? That’s a good laugh.

  10. We keep coming back to England – don’t we? And at least the article contained a bit of snark: “cheap special effect from an early episode of Doctor Who.” Indeed. I can just see a Dalek rolling and wobbling by it…….

  11. Hmm, I wonder if the folks who erect the tree at Rockefeller Center are aware of the danger their giant tree presents to New Yorkers…

  12. Although I can see a bit of beauty in the simplicity of it the AstroTurf is just tacky. AstroTurf is just tacky no matter where it is at. They could have come up with something better to cover it in.

  13. The Brits seem even wussier than us Americans, if that’s possible.

    Really tasteless and absurd!

  14. This is a complete fail. The only really safe Christmas tree is one that is growing undecorated in the forest, on private land, where you’re not allowed to trespass, and a fence around a 12-foot radius to protect the owners of the property as well.

    Short of that, they’re death machines.

  15. Wait, spruces and firs are pretty tall, so better make that a 50 foot radius.

  16. This has the aluminum Christmas tree with the rotating red, blue and green light of my childhood beat for tackiness.
    One of the comments gives insight into the paranoia in that someone that filmed the tree was stopped as a suspected terrorist.
    Is the name of this town spelled Poole of Foole? (George Carlin’s spelling)

  17. How ludricrous… And thats coming from a Brit… That ‘tree’ is HIDEOUS!!!!!!!

    “Jan S, on December 1st, 2009 at 12:30 am Said:

    The Brits seem even wussier than us Americans, if that’s possible.”

    You have no idea how barmy the H&S brigade have got here in the UK.. I’ve had to do a H&S audit on myself, using my pc at work :-S

  18. I braced myself for what I was going to see here… but I was unsuccessful at preparing myself for this monstrosity. Extremely laughable, but hardly festive.

  19. 1,000 people a year are treated for Christmas tree injuries?

    Really?

  20. LOL. How dreadful.

    This is in sharp contrast with the Christmas I celebrated last year with family further east in Europe (behind the curtain, before it was lifted). That involved a real tree on the third floor of a house made of wood with lights of real candles and real sparklers on the tree. I am not kidding. Oh, and toddlers — did I mention toddlers?

    We had a lovely time and all stayed safe thanks to caution and appropriate supervision. I wouldn’t really advocate widespread use of real candles on trees (though they were lovely), but given the choice I think I’d take them (and the risk) over this.

    Surely there’s a happy medium?

  21. Oh dear. How very… post-modern (and that is not a good thing).

    @ Alana M. “at least the article contained a bit of snark: ‘cheap special effect from an early episode of Doctor Who.’ Indeed. I can just see a Dalek rolling and wobbling by it…….”

    Those Daleks would be followed by those creepy robot Santas from the last several Christmas specials, no doubt – that “tree” could very well be their poorly disguised hide out.

  22. This has received some other coverage in the UK. From what I can tell, comments from the council indicate the only health and safety issue they were really concerned with was it blowing over. Which isn’t a trivial concern, though there is some debate about whether the load requirements for securing public Christmas trees are reasonable – but they do need securing. Since they had received complaints about the cables used to secure the real trees in the past they thought this would be a good alternative.

    If this is the case, they’re really only guilty of being overly bothered by a few complaints and failing to understand their public well enough to realize what they would actually think about the alternative (oh, and appalling taste – because it is a really ugly “tree”).

  23. Did you notice the REAL growing tree sticking into the photo of the “green cone?” Wouldn’t it have been a lot cheaper and more acceptable to decorate it with lights?

  24. If 1000 people a year are treated for Christmas tree injuries, that has to include all the people who tripped and fell and hit their heads on the Christmas tree, who would have tripped and fallen and hit their heads on the OTHER piece of furniture that was moved out of the way when the Christmas tree was put up. Or similar things — accidents happen around the house, and the Christmas tree just happened to the thing the person bumped into, or got poked by, or fell over, or whatever. There’s nothing special about it being a Christmas tree that makes it more dangerous than other things that fall over, get run into, or poke people when they’re moved around.

  25. Christy-

    Don’t worry, you don’t need to worry about the Rockefeller Center tree. This time of year, you will get crushed or trampled to death by people before you even near the tree.

    JoAnn

  26. Alana: I can imagine the Dalek exterminating the “tree”; you’d no longer be able to say they never did anything positive.

    I was in no way surprised to see that back injuries from transporting home Christmas trees were a large part of the hazard. Of course that, along with everything else mentioned, is hardly a factor in a municipal display like that. The whole paragraph about home Christmas tree injuries was an extended version of what Darrell Huff, in his classic How to Lie with Statistics (essentially reading for anyone who supports rationality) called a “semi-attached figure”: a number that sounds impressive, but bears no real relationship to the topic of the story.

  27. *speechless*

  28. I have a 10 month old baby girl, and am 9 weeks pregnant…is it terrible that I have decided not to put up a Christmas tree this year? I’m just feeling so tired and lazy, and I’m exhausted enough with saying “no, cd’s, those are for Mommy and Daddy.”

    I did buy a wreath for the front door and some pine cones that smell like Christmas, but I figure we’ll all head out for a tree when baby #2 is 2ish;-)

    I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

  29. I bet it melts.

  30. I should have added an LOL and a couple smiley faces to that note…I hope you all sensed the humour anyways:-)
    🙂🙂 Hehehe🙂🙂

  31. Nothing prepared me for how ugly that astroturf laden tree is. OY! Seriously??? Astroturf???? I think I’m going to morph into speechlessness now…

  32. I think it looks sort of cool in a mid-century modern/Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer stop-motion-animation sort of way. : )

  33. Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents- now I’ve heard it all.

  34. At least our tree has some COLOR!
    http://homepage.mac.com/haoleboy/pflagoahu/pages/citylights.html

  35. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents…seriously???

    That must be either the suckiest, most depressing job in the world, or the absolute BEST! (I guess it depends on your p.o.v., and what kind of twisted sense of humor you have.) Just imagine, sitting around in your office all day, thinking about all of the “what if’s” in life, and then dreaming up new and creative ways to get others to lose their minds with worry about the most ridiculous and remote ones.

  36. That is the ugliest tree! It might look better at night with the lights lit but I would most likely see it most during daytime hours and it would suck.

    Thank goodness our tree is a real tree. It’s beautiful and overlooks the downtown outdoor ice rink. Gorgeous! I had family come from Texas just to see it (and ice skate) and I’m in New York.

  37. Re: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – note these guys have nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to put up a fake Christmas tree here. They are simply quoted as a source of info on stats for *home* Christmas tree accidents. They actually put out some somewhat sensible info on, for example, child proofing: http://www.rospa.com/homesafety/articles/childproofing.htm

  38. That… thing cost 14000 pounds?!! Really?!!! Whose brother-in-law’s nephew has gotten that sweet deal.

    “Oi, DelBoy! Want to earn yourself a few bob? Weld together a few of those tubes we’ve got left from that dodgy job in Bridport, weld it into a cone shape, right? And cover it with astroturf – yeah, that icky stuff.. We still must’ve gotten loads of it from that deal in… Yeah, right. How much will that cost us, then? Heh, yeah, thought so. Well, see, remember my uncle Albert? His wife’s sister’s husband, he’s on the Health and Safety of the Council of Poole…”

  39. […] One onlooker describes it as “horrible”. [Times Online via Free-Range Kids] […]

  40. Too Funny!
    – In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 1,000 people needed hospital treatment for injuries inflicted by trees. They ranged from being poked in the eye to back injuries caused by moving the trees around… I smiled and laughed as i read this. All I kept seeing was the Saturday Night Live skit
    “killer Christmas Tree knocking at the door (“candy-gram”) What a Hoot!

  41. I can believe that 1000 people a year are treated for “injuries inflicted by trees” when you consider that a lot of those are “back injuries caused by moving the trees”. It’s not at all hard to believe that 500 or so people with dodgy backs hurt themselves getting the tree in from the garage. But google didn’t turn up a single case of people being killed by falling Christmas trees for me.

    That said, this is a remarkably ugly “tree”. If you are going to go post-modern, why not go all the way and make it out of shiny green mental like a present in metallic paper.

  42. O Pointy Astroturf Cone, O Pointy Astroturf Cone!
    How lovely are your green plastic walls.
    O Pointy Astroturf Cone, O Pointy Astroturf Cone!
    No one will sue since you can’t fall.

  43. […] When Is A Christmas Tree PERFECTLY Safe? Here’s when. I thought this article was a joke. Then I thought the tree was. Then I remembered: We are living in […] […]

  44. That is one ugly tree.

    We’ll be blocking our Christmas tree off from our 10 month old this Christmas for her safety, but once she’s bigger she will learn to deal with it.

    The cables and whatnot holding the traditional tree up may be ugly, but much more sensible than that hideous thing.

  45. MommyMItzi, your ‘Oh Pointy Astroturf Cone’ song is made of pure win! lol!

  46. FAIL!

  47. I waited for the lighting of the Xmas tree in NYC last night I was disappointed only lights. I visited Sams Club and saw these huge balls with tinsel and all shapes and said to myself wow, that would definitely decorate a big tree out of the house. I don’t have a tree for that. So I spent the evening watching the show cause I am home sick. I was born in NYC raised in the Bronx and I always watch the lighting cause I live in Puerto Rico 53 yrs. I get home sick especially on this time of the year. Disappointed but it looks beautiful anyways. Anna E. Gutierrez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico 12-3-09

  48. It’s very Martha Schwartz.

  49. @lonedattyof3 Love it! It’s beautiful! Forwarding the link to some LGBT friends.

  50. wow. that is one ugly tree. cone. what if a strong wind pulls the astroturf loose and it flies into a nearby street onto someone’s windshield and causes a terrible wreck? i wonder how many injuries they’ve had from real trees over the years?

  51. You folks who are concerned about needles and branches in the eye better never hike in the woods or visit a state or national park, unless you stay in your vehicle.
    !,000 people injured by trees hahahaha. People cut the trees down, haul them, set them up, decorate them and never have I seen a tree attack anybody except in a cartoon.
    Get real.

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