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Concord police investigating vandalism of State House trees

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 15. 2018 5:48AM




CONCORD - Concord police confirmed Friday that they were investigating vandalism to large trees near the State House.

Bark has been chopped from the tree bases.

The damage includes large rings cut or chopped around the bottom of five trees, including the state's largest Norway maple adjacent to the Soldiers Memorial Arch on Main Street in front of the State House plaza.

City officials said the damage appeared a few weeks ago and may have been from more then one incident. The state's landscaping crew noticed other trees had similar damage.

State foresters do not believe any of the damage will be fatal, but they warn if attacks were to escalate it could cut off the supply of water and nutrients to the trees and put them in danger.

State House administrators speculated that what was used to make these marks must have been extremely sharp because these old, extremely tall trees have very thick bark.

The trees that were struck include a rare, black walnut tree at the back entrance to the State House next to Gov. Chris Sununu's parking space, and an oak and sugar maple on the south side of the State House along Capitol Street.

The fifth target found was a large maple tree bordering the New Hampshire Historical Society property at the corner of Park and Green streets to the rear of the State House complex.

The New Hampshire Legislature has devoted significant resources over the years to protect these trees from being infested with insects and to repair them when damaged by winter storms.

More than a decade ago, a Democratic state legislator tied herself to a tree in protest after proposed changes to the landscape called for it to be taken down.

Legislative leaders in response decided to allow the tree to remain upright.

klandrigan@unionleader.com


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