Trees recently planted in Kinsmen Park were found snapped in half Thursday morning.
Seven trees of assorted varieties were vandalized overnight Wednesday. The trees were planted in May as part of Arbour Day and a beautification project the City, with BC Hydro, was doing.
The City estimated the cost of the vandalism to be $3,000, which doesn’t include removal and replanting costs.
“This is the second assault on the trees planted in partnership with BC Hydro,” said Chris Zettel, the city’s corporate communications officer. “The first incident saw vandals destroy one tree and throw it into Joseph Creek, while seriously damaging three others, which the City arbourist will hopefully be able to save.”
The trees line Rotary Way along Kinsmen Park. Many of the trees were snapped in half and the posts surrounding them ripped from the ground and discarded nearby.
“That’s what we found this morning,” said Les Hunter, Public Works supervisor. “I was going up there because the paving crew was paving the pathways to the bridges and I went, ‘Oh no, what did these people do this time?’”
Only a week before, trees further down the path, near the bridge, were also vandalized. One tree was ripped right out of the ground and thrown in Joseph Creek, along with some barricades. They pulled out some of the stakes around the trees, vandalizing four in total. The city could repair three of the trees, but one was garbage as it was snapped.
“Just one was broken; the other ones were just bent over and we were able to straighten them up, and they should be alright, but they never broke them that time,” said Hunter.
Thursday morning they found seven trees in various states of disrepair. Up the pathway, a flower bed was also uprooted.
“They ripped all the flowers out and threw them away too,” he said. “So somewhere out there our wonderful youths are walking through the park late at night, I don’t know what they’re on, and they’re just vandalizing the trees.”
Hunter hopes that whoever was responsible for the vandalism feels some shame.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but my feeling is they are just wasting the money, because now we have to replant them, it’s going to cost the city anywhere from $3,000 plus.”
Hunter said the reason for the expense is partly the trees themselves, as the trunks are 75 millimetres and not cheap at that size, as well as planting costs.
“We lost six trees; the other one that’s bent over like that (arbourist Matt Pocock) thinks he can save,” he said.
“We’re looking for a little help,” he said, hoping that anyone with information will call the city.
Hunter said it would still be a while before new trees can be planted.
“We have to order them, get them in, get our crew, because we have trees going in here at the green belt, and we thought that project was done, but we’re going to have to redo it,” he said, adding that they would also be planting more trees in Rotary and Moir parks.
At Kinsmen Park in May, 27 trees were planted, by a team of City of Cranbrook and BC Hydro volunteers, along the bike path, as part of Arbour Day.
If you have any information about the vandalism, please contact the City by calling 250-426-4211 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.