Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rare tree cut from UW arboretum

Someone has cut down a rare Chinese tree at the Washington Park Arboretum and it might be sitting in someone's living room decorated with ornaments.

David Zuckerman, horticultural supervisor for University of Washington Botanic Gardens, said the 15-year-old keteleeria tree is estimated to be worth $10,400.

"There are so many places in the city where there are Christmas trees for sale. If you want to go to a tree farm, you can do that, but not on parks or botanical gardens," said Zuckerman.

He added that it's illegal to cut trees from the arboretum.

The keteleeria tree stood about seven to eight feet tall, but all that's left is the stump.

"In with the saw and out with the truck I guess," said Zuckerman.

The arboretum received two keteleeria trees in 1998 from a Chinese sister institution that had grown them from seeds. Zuckerman said "there could be a hotel sitting where trees like this once grew."

The second tree isn't growing as well as the one that was stolen, but Zuckerman said even the tree cut down was pretty young and spindly compared to the noble and Douglas firs most people want for Christmas trees.


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