A tree-mendous stink

November 28, 2003

Christmas trees on a university campus in the US will be sprayed with the scent produced by skunks to deter thieves.

The University of Minnesota plans to spray between 400 and 500 pine trees with thousands of gallons of the liquid. Within hours of spraying, the cold weather masks the skunk odour, but if thieves take a tree inside, it will warm up and begin to stink.

Grounds superintendent Les Potts told The Minnesota Daily : "We are doing this to avoid a repeat of last year, when thieves took seven small trees and hacked the tops off larger trees, leaving them deformed and awkward-looking. We'll probably still lose some trees, but we'll have some satisfaction in knowing that it's not going to work out the way the thief thinks it will."

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