Kevin Nelson: Park trees cut down

Published 5:30 pm Friday, December 3, 2021

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Just when we thought we’d seen it all! Our parks supervisor was making the rounds through various parks this past Monday morning when he noticed something odd … wood chips and tree stumps where there’d recently been three healthy young trees along the Tree Trek at East Side Lake!

One might wonder what was the intent of the a person or group of people that would do such a thing? These particular trees had all been hand planted, as far back as 2014, so the tree was, at minimum, 10 years old. Each of the trees taken was one of 75 different species along the trek, and they were/are labeled, to show the public the beauty and variety which exists within the tree world. Further questions ensued: Were the tree-takers seeking a particular variety of tree? Was the location of the trees important in the decision of which were taken? What could we do to keep other trees from being taken in a similar manner?

We determined that we could place a wire mesh (chicken wire) around the trunks of similar trees, as this should deter similar actions. We then contacted someone to assist with catching the culprits, and this involved discussion with the police chief, to make certain that our methods would be legal and acceptable.

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I failed to mention: The tell-tale signs on the tree stumps which remained weren’t those of a saw or an axe, but rather the markings were those of rather large incisors. Our culprit wasn’t seeking a Christmas tree; he/she was seeking a meal or a stash for a later meal, so the variety of the tree was of significance. The location of the vanished trees was also important, to make for a less labor-intensive and more efficient water exit. The method to be used once the ice is gone if the culprit is still in the vicinity: A trapper.

Enjoy your parks (and the trees).