Friday, November 13, 2020

Police stumped by theft of large, rare pine tree from UW Arboretum


A rare, 25-foot-tall Algonquin Pillar Swiss Mountain pine tree was cut down and stolen from the UW Arboretum sometime between Nov. 5 and Monday. Its twin, right, was left unharmed.

Unlike the more populated parts of Madison, the UW Arboretum is not blanketed with surveillance cameras, and presumably it doesn’t have its own Lorax to speak for the trees.

So UW-Madison officials are seeking the public’s help in finding whoever went into the Arboretum between Nov. 5 and Monday, cut down and carted away a rare, 25-foot-tall Algonquin Pillar Swiss Mountain pine tree, and cut off a 12-foot section of a Compact White Fir tree but left it on the ground.

The curator of the Arboretum’s Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, David Stevens, discovered the damage Monday. He said it’s likely the thieves “shopped around” for their targets during the warm weather over the weekend.

The Algonquin was “most likely taken for a large Christmas tree display,” he said. “Somebody’s trying to make a buck.”

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