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Several Pin Oak trees killed in park

October 11, 2012 3:07:11 PM PDT
City Park Rangers in Pelham Bay are shocked that someone would ruin a park on purpose.

They are looking for a criminal who know exactly how to kill oak trees.

It's a nightmare for a nature lover, trees violated.

The scene of this crime right next to one of the oldest living things in New York City is a 400-year-old white oak tree.

"The fact that someone would kill trees right around it is incomprehensible," said Marianne Anderson, of the Pelham Bay Parks Department.

The perpetrator must have had a hatchet.

He or she walked into the woods and chopped the bark right off of 15 Pin Oak trees, all more than 40 feet tall.

"The fact that someone picked out 15 Pin Oaks, same species, someone knew what they were doing it was deliberate," Anderson said.

The damage discovered under blue skies with birds fluttering and bees' buzzing was not just vandalism.

It was done not to hurt but to destroy the 30-year-old trees.

"Girdling is the term, but the way that this was done, someone knew to strip the bark was the way to kill it," Anderson said.

Girdling kills a tree because all the bark around the circumference of the tree is removed, ruing the vascular system which means water and nutrients can't make it to other parts of the tree.

"I've worked with parks 26 years, never seen damage to this extreme, horrific," Anderson said.

The Parks Department hopes someone saw something.

The crime is punishable with tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

"Monetary value to any, but there is priceless damage of 30-40 years of growth," Anderson said.

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