A few years ago we did some reporting on this, in fact it's believed a couple of people were bitten by this.

City maintenance crews routinely spray their trees with skunk oil, and sometimes use a mixture of urea, skunk oil, and other non-lethal but smelly mixtures. They include a sticking mixture, or substances that make the smell oil cling to the tree

WHAT DO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SPRAY ON TREES TO PREVENT THEFT?

For years people have tried to scrimp on a Christmas tree by cutting down an evergreen from a public park. Kinda chintzy, besides being illegal.

Kind of like the guy who stole a slide from the public park in Pasco and installed it in his kid's room at their home in Burbank.

But you will not want to cut down a tree at pretty much any public park, and this includes the Tri-Cities...Richland, Pasco and Kennewick.

City maintenance crews routinely spray their trees with skunk oil, and sometimes use a mixture of urea, skunk oil, and other non-lethal but smelly mixtures. They include a sticking mixture, or substances that make the smell oil cling to the tree.

The University of Idaho in 2020 at least, sprayed well over 100 evergreens on the Moscow campus to prevent this. Some areas have a worse problem than others.

  HAS IT HAPPENED LOCALLY?

Few officials will discuss it publicly, but we do know it's happened in Kennewick a few years ago.

  WHY DOES THIS KEEP PEOPLE FROM CUTTING TREES?

IF you cut down a stinky treated tree, it will not initially give off any odor. But once you get it home, inside a warm environment, the chemicals go to work.  Within minutes, especially hours, you will think a skunk sprayed the interior of your house, and the smell is almost impossible to get rid of with regular air fresheners.

So, don't get any ideas about cutting a park tree for the holidays!

 

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