Trees cut down in Juniper Valley Park – fourth time this year

Over the weekend, 12 newly-planted trees were destroyed at Juniper Valley Park. This incident marks the fourth case of tree damage this year at the park and a $2,500 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in this arborcide. It is believed that the trees were cut with an electric saw, either late Saturday, September 12 or early Sunday morning, September 13. They were just planted in the park this past spring. Ten were cherry trees and two were oaks.
“Arborcide is a serious criminal offense and an assault on our communities, and the loss of 12 newly-planted trees in Juniper Valley Park is a blow to the quality of live and environmental health of Juniper Valley Park. Trees are a valuable asset, providing shade and oxygen, cleaning the air, and creating homes for wildlife,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “The Parks Department is committed to protecting our trees and we are grateful to the Juniper Valley Civic Association, Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, and former Councilmember Tom Ognibene for generously offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this crime against nature.”
There is a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of any individual involved in the arborcide, with the Juniper Park Civic Association offering $500, and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley and former Councilmember Tom Ognibene each offering an additional $1,000. Arborcide is punishable with up to $15,000 in fines and up to one year in prison. It is illegal and punishable by law for citizens to remove, kill or damage a street or park tree, whether intentionally or accidentally.
Juniper Valley Park has been victim of tree arborcide and vandalism four times this year, with more than 20 trees victimized. In April, low branches were torn off a number of trees overnight. In June, two trees were found damaged in the park and in July, seven trees were damaged, leaving four uprooted, two completely destroyed and one with trunk damage.
If you have any information on this crime, please call the NYPD Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.