ST. GEORGE — St. George Police are looking for whoever’s responsible for destroying 30 mesquite trees along Mayor’s Loop, near Confluence Park.
The trees, which city officials estimated to be worth roughly $30,000, were felled between May 27 and Wednesday, police said on Facebook. Shane Moore, leisure services director for the city, said he believes the trees were targeted by vandals.
“This is definitely a calculated attack,” Moore told St. George News. “It’s just bizarre.”
Moore said that the trees were chosen for their qualities. They are native to the area, water wise and provide food for animals. Moore said they planted 50-60 of the trees along the trail five years ago.
“To buy them when they’re young costs between $750 and $1,000 per tree. Today, they’re worth even more than that.”
Moore said that the alleged vandals had left invasive tree species, like the tamarisk, untouched.
“Someone suggested that they may be harvesting mesquite wood,” Moore said, “But that’s not likely. Whoever’s doing it is dragging the trees out of the landscape area, and leaving them near the wash.”
The alleged vandals were likely working at night, Moore said, using a battery powered Sawzall.
“Chainsaws leave behind coarse sawdust,” Moore said. “The piles of sawdust we found were very fine.”
Anyone who may have information should call St. George Police Department’s non-emergency dispatch line at 435-627-4300.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.