Friday, June 6, 2008
Tree vandalism puzzles residents
Police are investigating damage to two Carlisle trees last week, one of them a Carlisle landmark. On Friday afternoon harm to a tree at the Treibick residence on East Street was reported and investigated. It was standing, but had vertical marks on the trunk that could have been caused by an animal. A Fish and Game employee in the Carlisle area was asked to look at the tree and considered the marks too high to have been made by an animal. There were no axe or saw marks suggesting vandalism.
The second tree used to stand by itself in the Findlay-Freeman-Stropkay field between Westford Street and Rockland Road. It was something of a Carlisle landmark because Rockland Road neighbors put lights on it every Christmas. It was clearly vandalized, with straight cut sawmarks. The incident was initially reported to the police on Sunday night when Rockland Road residents out for a walk noticed it was missing, and again on Tuesday when a Westford Street resident reported hearing male voices in the field between 9 and 10 p.m. Saturday night.
The coincidence of the two events in one week spurred conjecture about possible serial vandalism on trees, but the evidence suggests that the two events are unrelated. The East Street tree may have been hit by lightning; the Westford Street tree damage was certainly intentional. Rockland Road residents even put a fence around their little tree to protect it from animals and looked forward to their joint Christmas activity, stringing out a cord for the lights and getting together in the field to put them on the tree. The dogs came and the kids came and most of Rockland Road celebrated lighting the small tree as part of their Christmas that they shared with the town. Now the children are asking why this was done to their tree and the adults have no answer. Police Lieut. Leo Crowe says the police are actively investigating the vandalism. (See related editorial, page 2.) ∆
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