• Poisoned Trees Investigation

    Poisoned Trees Investigation

    The public’s help is requested for an investigation into why three trees were killed by someone who drilled into their trunks and apparently injected chemicals. 

    The stricken trees are at 527 West Main Street and 307 West Taft Street (pictured). The estimated damages are $7,900, not including removal and replacement or penalties.

    Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the City of Santa Maria’s Recreation and Parks Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 2260.

    The Recreation and Parks staff will be working with a tree pathologist to discover how the trees were killed, and what chemicals, if any, were used.  

    On Monday, June 22nd, the Park and Urban Forest Supervisor noticed a couple of trees that died very quickly on West Main Street. During an Arborist investigation, multiple drill holes near the base of the tree in the main truck were discovered, which is indicative of chemical injection. The holes were fairly fresh, and appeared to be backfilled with some sort of caulking.

    On Thursday, the supervisor was routinely marking a dead tree for removal. During the course of marking the tree he noted this tree had also been drilled, and appeared to be chemically injected.

    Pursuant to Section 8-8.07 Damage or Injury of the Santa Maria Municipal Code, penalties include damages for the value of the tree, and all costs associated with re-planting.

    Residents or businesses with issues about trees are requested to refer to the City’s website regarding removal and replacement. Go to www.cityofsantamaria.org/trees