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Tree vandalism costs us all

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

As crimes go, this one isn’t likely to keep any detectives up at night but it’s profoundly sad:  Tree Pittsburgh reports having found a 2-year-old swamp white oak lying on the sidewalk, chopped at the base of its trunk, at 5404 Penn Ave., not far from the non-profit’s offices.downedtree

The tree had grown to 16 feet, taller than other swamp white oaks that were planted on the block, and was just beginning to produce acorns.

“Vandalism to trees is a common problem,” Tree Pittsburgh reports. “Usually vandals rip off low hanging branches or drunk drivers run trees over. Some people wait until night and come out with a sharp saw to vandalize trees.

“This extreme act of vandalism was reported to the city but at this time, there are no leads.”


For all the good trees do for us, their destruction is far worse than graffiti and less excusable than theft when theft is done out of need. Punishing trees is cowardly, an assault on the public good and the sign of a scary mentality.

The eyes and ears on the street that we’re always hearing about? Let’s be that for our trees.

Photo by Matt Erb, arborist for Tree Pittsburgh

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