• Outdoors Outdoors

Arborist shares frustrating footage of efforts made to slowly kill trees: 'This should be illegal'

"This is extremely upsetting!"

"This is extremely upsetting!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

A devastated arborist showed their nearly 50,000 TikTok followers heartbreaking damage to local trees.

Lucas the Lorax (@lucasthelorax) took us on a virtual tour of a business park, stopping at trees that had been planted around the edges of a parking lot.

@lucasthelorax Criminal mistreatment of trees! #tree #girdling #damage #urbantree #urbanforestry #mistreatment #respect #nature #plants #arborist #lorax #fyp #fypシ #viral #trending ♬ original sound - Lucas The Lorax

Pointing the camera toward the base of a couple of trees, Lucas showed that they had been girdled — or had their bark removed. 

It looked like it was done with a tool, as there appeared to be straight cuts along each tree's outer shield. 

About a foot of bark was removed, and the cuts went into the sensitive tissue and cambium layer. That will soon have deadly consequences for the trees, as it will impact their ability to take in nutrients and water. Mulch volcanoes can have a similar effect. 

"Sometimes people girdle trees just like this when they want it to be killed or removed but they don't want to pay for it to be done professionally," Lucas observed. "So instead of chopping the tree down this kills it standing up."

Lucas then showed just what happens some time after a tree is girdled, pointing the camera at a nearby example that had dry sap and dry wood at the base, dead leaves at the top, and as a whole was decaying and rotting. 

"I can't say for sure who is doing this or why they are doing this, but I can say for sure it is going to kill these trees for seemingly no reason, and I find that so upsetting," Lucas said. 

Lucas spoke to the groundskeeper and advised them to keep an eye on the trees, which he said deserved "a lot more respect and appreciation."

It is unfortunate to see such awful vandalism of beautiful, otherwise healthy trees. In addition to brightening up the parking lot, the trees could help to combat the heat island effect by absorbing and trapping heat. Concrete and asphalt absorb heat and expel it back into the environment, leading to increased temperatures. 

They would also help to improve air quality — which is important with so many gas-guzzling cars using the lot — and provide a habitat for creatures. The trees would encourage the presence of pollinators, too, which 35% of the world's food crops depend on, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

"This is extremely upsetting!!!!" one commenter said. "That person should be charged with vandalism."

"This should be illegal," someone else wrote. 

"Definitely put up cameras & find out," another added. "This is horrible and tbh a criminal like that may escalate."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider