Photo via Catonsville Tree Canopy Project/Facebook

A tree-despising Grinch in Southwest Baltimore County just couldn’t let local residents enjoy their new trees.

The Catonsville Tree Canopy Project, an initiative to plant 1,000 trees along streets and in public areas by 2020, shared on Facebook this week that someone has carried out a nasty crusade against their work. The photo of the scene (above) is gruesome for tree-lovers: it depicts the lower end of one of the freshly planted Kwanzan cherry trees with big, fat hole drilled into it, and a slice taken out of the trunk.

According to the group, someone “cut, drilled [and] poisoned” dozens of trees that volunteers had recently planted along the Edmondson Avenue median to beautiful the neighborhood. In a subsequent post, the project referred to the attack as a “terrorist act” and urged any tipsters to call the Baltimore County Police Department.

WBAL-TV reports the gashing affected 32 trees in all, with five of them pronounced dead, and the rest critically injured.

“I think it’s a low kind of person who would do something like that, after all the work they put into making it look nice,” one resident aptly told the station.

The project has been ongoing for years, with hundreds of trees planted at the town’s library, Melvin Park, multiple elementary schools, Catonsville High School and various neighborhoods. Baltimore Gas and Electric and other private entities and individuals have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to support the eco-friendly effort.

Volunteers are now working to save the ailing arbors. “We worked all day today to try [and] salvage what we could but only time will tell if some or any will make it,” the Facebook post read.

Meanwhile, police are looking into it. A spokesperson for county police said the department is “actively investigating.” She said the incident likely occurred in the overnight hours between Sunday and Monday of this week, judging by when volunteers noticed the carnage.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...

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