Is WiFi Killing Our Trees?


Electrobonsai effect on trees: They move away from EMF sources. Image Credit Lloyd Alter

Three years ago I wrote an April Fools post about the supposed effect of Electromagnetic Force on Trees. Now it appears that life imitates art, as a Dutch study at Wageningen University investigated "unexplained abnormalities on trees that couldn't be ascribed to a virus or bacterial infection." It was reported on in PC World:

The study exposed 20 ash trees to various radiation sources for a period of three months. Trees placed closest to the Wi-Fi radio demonstrated a "lead-like shine" on their leaves that was caused by the dying of the upper and lower epidermis of the leaves. This would eventually result in the death of parts of the leaves. The study also found that Wi-Fi radiation could inhibit the growth of corn cobs.


More demonstration of the Electrobonsai effect on Oakwood Avenue, Toronto

The story is bouncing around the internet and MSM like mad, even though it has already been retracted. Valleywag notes that The Dutch University that published the original news quickly backtracked:

The researcher from Wageningen University indicates that these are initial results and that has not been confirmed in a repeat survey. He warns strongly that there are no far-reaching conclusions from its results. Based on the information now available can not be concluded that the WiFi radio signals leads to damage to trees or other plants. It takes into account previously published studies showing no effect. The knowledge center awaits with interest the publication of the survey.

That didn't prevent others from having some fun with the subject:BoingBoing notes that the usually reliable Weekly World News discloses the results on an American study that has even more horrific results.

A study by Washington University in St. Louis confirms that Wi-Fi radiation causes abnormalities in trees and these abnormalities eventually lead to tree death. Trees that are exposed to the RF (Radio Frequency) technology of Wi-Fi systems are dead within a year of exposure.

"We studied tree bark, tree sap, and the various insects that inhabit trees. They were all adversely affected by RF. Botanists and arborists are extremely concerned and feel that this is a national crisis of epic proportions." Hofverberg recommends banning all Wi-Fi usage within a ten miles radius of any trees.

"It's the only way we can save the trees of America."

Like the Weekly World News, I did not take this study very seriously and treated it like the extension of my April Fools joke. I apologize for any confusion this caused among our readers.

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More on the effects of WiFi

Parents And Teachers Demanding That Schools Dump WiFi
Spray-on Defense from WiFi and Cellphones
WiMax on the Brain: Is "WiFi on Steroids" Safe?
Are Your Mattress And Bedframe Killing You With EMF?
Wi-Fi in Schools: Should We Apply the Precautionary Principle?

Tags: Electricity | Humor

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