Arborcide?

streettree Arborcide?It happens in New York City, and it’s a crime: the deliberate killing of trees.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, according to the Sunday New York Times, encourages anyone who knows about an arborcide to call… 311, sure, but probably 911, too.

[I]n New York [it] can be punished by jail time and a fine of up to $15,000. Most cases of tree damage are accidental, Mr. Benepe said, and are resolved when the offender makes restitution. But some arborcide is clearly deliberate: His department is offering a $2,000 reward to find out who chopped down 35 cedar trees in Inwood Hill Park last month.

I wrote last summer about the value of trees to New York property owners. But one of the prime motives behind arborcide in the city, the Times‘ Jake Mooney writes, is the preservation of the views of nearby signs or storefronts. Thus, the trees are often offed by the very people closest to them.