A house in Sandbanks, Dorset Image credit: IDS.photos (Creative Commons)
As evidenced by discussion in our forums, some folks will deliberate long and hard before harming a single tree. But that's not the case everywhere. Bonnie reported earlier this year on "tree mugging" in Sandbanks, Dorset, where property owners were surreptitiously and illegally killing trees which blocked their view of the harbor, and reaping massive rewards in the form of increased real estate value. Sadly, the practice seems to be continuing—and now police are investigating the "execution" of five more trees by unknown vandals. According to The Guardian, the Sandbanks tree killings involved somebody removing a ring of bark around the base of five 80-year-old Corsican and Scots pines, and then scattering herbicides around the roots to ensure that the trees did not stand a chance. Local authorities are clearly outraged, and while some may find the language hyperbolic, a statement by a local council spokesperson left little doubt as to how seriously they are treating the matter:
"These five trees have been carefully targeted and executed." They are on a plot owned by developer Barrington Homes. It said it was "appalled" at the attack. "The environmental impact is of great concern and the barbaric use of the 'ringing' method is a crude and despicable act."
On such a crowded and already-developed landmass like Sandbanks, the loss of trees is about much more than lost biodiversity or sequestered carbon. As commenter ecobore noted on Bonnie's original post, the place is called Sandbanks for a reason. Trees play an important role in stopping erosion and keeping sea at bay. I'd love to know what millionaire homeowners will be saying when their palaces start slipping into the ocean.
More on Tree Killing, Tree Saving and Protest
Forums: Should I Cut Down My Tree?
On Sandbanks, Dorset, It's Tree Mugging, Not Hugging
Berkeley Protesters Tree Top insanity No Help to Environmental Movement
How Far Should One Go When Protesting?