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Winter shoe tree.

Shoe Tree Seasons

Deciduous trees shed their leaves when the cold weather arrives, but Shoe Trees are in bloom all year long. The non-biodegradable integrity of modern footwear assures every riotous, brand-promoting clot of shoes could be around long after their unwilling hosts sicken and collapse.

When summer wraps up, vacation traffic slows, and the manic contribution of new sneaker pairs ebbs. Tossing Season for remote shoe trees, which begins in late Spring in most northern states, is over. While locals may deliver a few more Fall flings, the savvy shoe tree knows that with cold weather comes a respite.

Winter shoe tree.

A winter shoe tree can be an eerily beautiful vision, evident in these photos by Soopageek, recorded of Middlegate, Nevada's tree in late 2004. "It turned out to be a wonderful day to take pictures," wrote Soopa. "With the recent snow and ice storms, the shoe laces were creating long thin icicles."

We aren't all lucky enough to have perfect shooting conditions, and winter shoe tree sojourns can be hit-or-miss.

We enjoyed an update from Philip Deslippe about his travails getting to Milltown, Indiana's Shoe Tree in December, 2004. "The two shoe trees mentioned (in Tips) for Indiana are actually just one, single tree. The equally screwed-up directions for the two of them both lead you to the same place. I got there in a round-about way due to the flooding, so I couldn't give better directions myself."

Milltown shoe tree.
Milltown shoe tree.

The Milltown tree is no great visual reward, and in winter, with the leaves gone, one can't be much deluded about the feeble quantity of shoes involved. But here at RoadsideAmerica HQ, Doug fell out of his ergonomic chair when he saw Philip's photo.

In the upper right part of the frame is a small, grayish-brown lump hanging from a branch -- not shoes. It was the deadly hornet's nest we reported the previous August. Next to it dangled Doug's pair of trusted white running shoes.

He sure misses those sneakers.

Also see: Shoe Trees

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