Posted on May 4, 2012 at 7:57 PM
Friday, May 4 at 11:04 PM
SEATTLE -- The University of Washington and Seattle Parks and Recreation are looking for the vandals that destroyed newly planted exotic trees at the Arboretum.
Three Chilean wine palms, two monkey puzzle trees, and three Gunnera Tinctoria in the Washington Park Arboretum's Gateway to Chile project were damaged.
The damage appears to have been inflicted with a machete or hatchet and is very similar to vandalism that took place in the Arboretum about a year ago.
The cost of restoring the site to its original condition is estimated to be about $43,000.
David Zuckerman of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens says they suspect the vandals may have stolen fronds and branches for party decorations for Cinco de Mayo. A similar crime happened to the same area a year ago.
Zuckerman says the crime is completely unnecessary, especially since the UWBC often loans out exotic potted plants for decoration.
The Gateway to Chile project is part of Pacific Connections, a five-part project that showcases the flora of five Pacific Rim regions: Chile, New Zealand, Australia, China, and southern Oregon/ northern California.
Seattle Parks and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens ask anyone with information about the crime to the Seattle Police Department's East Burglary Unit at 206-684-4300.