August 22, 2008

Poisoner Attacks 7 Trees in Seattle

Five tall trees in a Seattle park have been deliberately killed with an injection of an herbicide, and two more are turning brown, officials said.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department reported Thursday that holes had been driven into the trunks of the 70-foot-tall silver poplars and Douglas firs, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. The poison killed the poplars and two of the firs, while the other firs are turning brown.

The trees were planted about 30 years ago, said Mark Mead, a city forester, and they are worth at least $30,000.

Seattle officials recently turned down a request from owners in a condominium complex to trim or remove the trees, Mead said. It was a manager from the Sandpiper Condominiums who noticed and reported the damage to the trees.

A previous attempt had been made to kill the poplars by removing a ring of bark.

Mead said that the poisoning was probably carried out in the past two or three weeks.

Seattle is known for its spectacular mountain and water views, and vandalism of trees by people seeking a better view is fairly common. In one of the most notorious cases, Jerome Farris, a senior federal appeals judge, was ordered to pay half a million dollars 2003 for removing 120 trees that blocked his view of Lake Washington.