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Rare Swiss Pine Tree Stolen From Wisconsin University, Residents 'devastated'

The Madison police were stumped when they came across a theft of a rare Swiss pine tree from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, United States.

Swiss Pine Tree

The Madison police were stumped when they came across a theft of a rare pine tree from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, US. According to Associated Press, the police department on November 12 informed that a 25-foot Algonquin Pillar Swiss Mountain pine was sawed down sometimes between November 5 and November 9. The tree was about 30 metres from a tree that runs through the arboretum, which is a popular spot for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and nature lovers. 

Unlike the most populated parts of Madison, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum is not blanketed with surveillance cameras. Hence, the police are seeking the public’s help in finding whoever cut down and carted away the tree. As per reports, the pine tree was planted in 1988 and a twin tree next to it was left unharmed. 

The Arboretum officials have estimated the cost of the stolen and damaged trees to be at least $13,000. The police said that they are hoping from the public in identifying the thieves, given the size of the tree and the manpower it would take to remove it. The cops have urged the public to call if they “witnessed a large tree being transported from the area or noticed a large tree that’s now part of someone’ holiday display”. 

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‘Devastated’ by the theft 

The damaged tree was discovered by the curator of Arboretum’s Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, David Stevens. He said that it is likely that the thieves “shopped around” for their targets during the warm weather over the weekend. He added that the pine tree was most likely taken for Christmas tree display or “somebody’s trying to make a buck”. 

The Algonquin was a natural Christmas tree shape. The stolen pine tree is unusual among conifers as it retains full, green needles all the way to the ground. Steven said that he doesn’t know why the thieves left the White Fir near where it was cut off about five feet up from the ground, but he noted that the Algonquin was near to Arboretum Drive and the White Fir was about 100 years deeper into the conifer section of the Arboretum. 

According to reports, it appeared that a chainsaw was used to cut down the tree. The officials said that the trees are softwood and not valued by woodworkers. Stevens added that he is just “devastated” and felt like someone broke into his house and stole something precious. 

(Image: @UWMadisonPolice/Twitter)

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