Friday, December 9, 2011

Tree stolen from Arboretum

Sometime between Dec. 6th and Dec. 7th, someone or some people came into the Arboretum and cutdown a 3m (10') Serbian spruce (Picea omorika). This really gets my goat. Not only is stealing a tree from a public park a pretty shitty thing to do, the tree happened to be a member of a IUCN threatened species. At least it wasn't endangered like the one that was poached from the University of Washington Arboretum in 2009.

Still, WTF?

The tree was taken out the Geddes St. entrance but from there the trail of branches got cold. Serbian spruces are very distinctive in appearance: they have a very narrow crown. Unlike the other spruces in the area, P. pungens, P. mariana, P. glauca and P. abies, P. omorika has two-tone needles: the tops are green and the undersides are light with two distinct white bands. Also, the needles are flat in cross section which differentiates it from the above spruces save for P. abies. So if you noticed someone who just got a new, very tall, attractive Christmas tree, AND it has flattened two-tone needles spruce needles, here is the contact information for DPS.

Crime strikes close to home


  1. Ben,

    Back in 2005, there was more than one instance of Serbian spruce theft. Fortunately, the Ann Arbor District Library's online archives preserve the Ann Arbor News reporting from that era. In .pdf form, here's two articles: Grinch, Christmas, etc.

  2. On closer reading of the 2005 articles, it looks like one Serbian spruce was stolen and another tree, not a Serbian, was "topped."