scarves tied around a tree

Seeing Scarves On Trees? Here’s Why

Around cities facing frigid temperatures this winter, you might notice ‘bundled-up’ tree trunks and branches. The reason might surprise you.

scarves tied around a tree
Scarves tied around a tree

In a year fraught with celebrity passings and political rancor, it’s nice to have something, well, nice to write about.

Individuals and organizations across the country are knitting, crocheting, and emptying their closets of scarves, hats, and mittens. Anonymous do-gooders distribute these welcomed warmers in a unique manner: they tie them around trees throughout cities and parks.


No one knows when or where the trend first appeared, but good samaritans began dangling their darned donations in earnest in the last few years.

A coalition of knitters, sewers, and art enthusiasts formed Chase The Chill in 2008, an annual event to “bomb” public spaces with its wares. In 2010, the group canvassed trees, signposts, and walkways for the first time.

Today, there are 37 Chase The Chill chapters nationwide and 11 more in Canada. Typically, the vigilante volunteers will include a note saying, “I’m not lost. If you find yourself in the cold and need this to keep warm, please take it.”

There is no requirement to join an organization. You can participate by leaving warm items in public spaces, or consider donating them to shelters and clothing drives.

You can also join or form a Chase The Chill chapter in your town.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.