by: David Ham Updated:
EDMONDS, Wash. - Seaview neighbors have now counted at least 100 trees that were slashed inside Hutt Park in Edmonds.
"I had an inkling that there was more that we hadn't seen the extent of the damage the vandals have done," said Laura Martin, who first reported at least 30 trees damaged to parks workers last Thursday.
The vandals slashed the bark around the trees -- that deprives them of key nutrients for survival. The damage is often fatal for the tree.
"We're going to try to save them by putting some paste around there; it's an old way to take care of trees. We'll try that and see what's going to happen," said Rich Lindsay, Edmonds parks manager.
Martin notified City Council member Diane Buckshnis, who sent an email out to other neighbors to alert them.
"It's not kids' pranks, it's actually someone trying to destroy a tree, which I think is just a terrible, terrible mindset and it's terrible for the community," said Buckshnis.
The trees also do not obstruct a view from nearby homes.
"People should realize this is just not right. This is not a smart thing to do. This doesn’t impact anybody's views, it impacts our environment," said Buckshnis.
Edmonds police told KIRO 7 there are no suspects yet.
Geoff McMahon also lives nearby and said he never saw anything suspicious.
"I’m surprised nobody heard anything. But it's pretty remote back in there there's a lot of cover so you might not hear it," said McMahon.
He also voiced concerns about the environmental impact of at least 100 trees killed in the park.
"There's a lot of water that runs off that hill and needs a place to go and if we lose the root systems there we'll see more slides. We've had some trees come down there that have probably been undermined in the root systems as the rain has come down," said McMahon.
Officers hope someone in the neighborhood might have seen the vandals.
"You can tell by the color of the bark it didn't happen yesterday; probably two weeks ago and then again last week," said Lindsay.
Lindsay also thinks that it wasn't children who targeted the trees, but probably teenagers or young adults.
He pointed out the trees where slash marks were made.
"By the height of it you could see this wasn't little kids doing this work. The kids were anywhere between the ages between 12 and 18," said Lindsay.
The city estimates it will cost at least $20,000 to plant new trees.
"They didn't take the lumber, they just wanted to kill the trees as a sick sport," said Martin.