Trees vandalized in Billings public parks - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Trees vandalized in Billings public parks

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After several trees in Billings public parks are vandalized, the Billings Parks and Recreation department hopes to nurse the trees back to health.


"Basically what happened with this tree is that it was girdled," said Billings Parks Police Officer Nick Lam. "Someone took a hatchet or a saw and they sawed in about a quarter inch around the entire tree."

While Officer Lam says the culprit was fully aware of how to carry out this crime, he says the motive remains unclear.

When a tree is damaged, the parks and recreation department looks at the estimated value of the tree. 

Vandalization of trees in public parks can cost up to $9,000 and this type of crime is considered a felony.

"This goes into the original tree which includes oxygen output and carbon consumption. Then they do an estimate of how much it would be to chop the tree down," adds Officer Lam. 

Instead of taking the tree down, Officer Lam wanted to raise awareness of the situation.

He recruited students from the Billings Senior high environmental studies class to make a graft that could possibly save the tree.

"Now it's a bigger tree so we aren't a hundred percent sure if it'll save it or now, but if it does not the students will still get a learning experience and if the tree eventually does die, we're going to keep the tree as a nature tree," said Officer Lam. 

When it comes to increasing safety in the park, Officer lam says that starts with just having more people using the park for recreation.

"Whether that's soccer, intramural sports or family picnics, the parks are a safe place and now with increased enforcement," said Officer Lam. "It's going to be a safer place for people to recreate in."

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