Grinches cutting, stealing trees from Denver parks

27 Dec

A 7-to-8 foot tall Blue Spruce was cut down this week in Denver’s Ash Grove Park, presumably by someone who wants it for a Christmas tree, according to Mike Swanson, forestry superintendent for the city of Denver.

“I kind of get ticked off,” said Swanson, who admits to getting a little emotional when vandals cut down trees in Denver city parks. “It is pretty senseless.”

Swanson said it takes 5-to-6 years for a Blue Spruce to add two feet in height – from 6 feet to 8 feet – in Denver’s dry, high altitude climate.

And it costs the city about $330 to replace Blue Spruce which is valued at $500 to $600 by the time it reaches 8 feet tall, said Swanson.

“This is supposed to be a season of giving, but they (the thieves) are actually taking away from the park district,” said Swanson.

The thieves used a handsaw to cut down the Blue Spruce at Ash Grove Park, which is located at South Holly Street and East Mexico Avenue in southeast Denver.

It probably took them up to half an hour to cut the tree and then drag it to a car or pickup, said Swanson.

Swanson said a second tree was cut down at Lindsley Park, East 12th Avenue and Dahlia Street.

Each year around Christmas, vandals cut down 2-to-4 Blue Spruce or Conifers in Denver city parks for Christmas trees, said Swanson.

Swanson said that the trees will be replaced eventually but the city is facing a “tight budgetary climate”.


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