WSU Sprays Evergreens to Reduce Theft

PULLMAN, Wash. — Trees on Washington State University’s campus are
being treated with a foul-smelling mixture to discourage vandals from cutting
them for Christmas trees.

Crews began spraying the evergreens this week with an animal scent mixture,
giving them a skunk-like odor. When a treated tree is cut and taken indoors the
warmer temperatures intensify the offensive smell, says Kappy Brun, grounds
supervisor for campus facilities operations.

Individuals found with a chemically treated tree taken from university property
could be charged with theft. Fines range from $250-$1500, depending on the
value of the tree.

WSU began the spraying program nearly 10 years ago. The spraying method is
used by many golf courses and parks.