Vandals damage six eucalyptus trees in Laguna Beach, police say

Laguna Beach police are treating cuts to the trunks of six eucalyptus trees as vandalism.

On Saturday, a pedestrian in the Aliso Creek Shopping Center reported that a eucalyptus tree had a 1- to 2-inch-deep cut near its base, Sgt. Tim Kleiser said.

Across South Coast Highway at the Montage Laguna Beach, five eucalyptus trees had sustained 1- to 2-inch cuts at the bases of their trunks, police said. A security guard reported the cuts to authorities on Nov. 21.

Police said the damaged trees at the Montage, a luxury hotel, were located next to a walkway near the highway.

An arborist said it would take four to six weeks to determine if the trees would recover from the damage, Kleiser said. The trees at the Montage are 40 to 45 years old.

Police are looking into whether the incidents are related.

In Laguna, eucalyptus trees have a mixed reputation.

Backers believe the trees add character to neighborhoods, but critics say they are fire hazards and view blockers.

 

bryce.alderton@latimes.com

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

Alderton writes for Times Community News

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