December 2, 2008

C.U. Plantations Offers Reward After Bosnian Tree Cut Down

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The Cornell Plantations is offering a $250 reward for information leading to a conviction of anybody involved in the destruction of a Bosnian pine tree valued at $3,800. According to a press release, a plantations staff member of the reported that the tree, located in the Watkins Pinetum area of the F.R. Newman Arboretum, had been cut down.
It appears that the perpetrators used a hatchet or an ax to cut the tree down and then dragged it to the edge of the road, where it was found. The incident took place sometime between Nov. 20 and the following morning.
Plantations health care coordinator Donna Levy explained that each year the University takes actions to prevent people from taking trees from the plantations to use as Christmas trees.
“Every year we are faced with the potential of having conifers cut and removed for Christmas trees,” stated Donna Levy. “To counteract would-be tree thieves, plantations sprays many conifers with a harmless concoction we call ‘ugly mix,’ which makes the trees appear unhealthy.”
The spray provides a temporary mask and washes off with the rain. The Bosnian pine was cut down before the spray had been applied.
“This tree was nearly four decades old, had been started from seed and was essentially irreplaceable,” stated plantations director Don Rakow in the release. “Each tree is an integral part of the plantations’ educational collections, and a beautiful addition to the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Their destruction is deeply disturbing.”
Anyone with information relating to this incident contact Cornell Police at 607-255-1111.