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6 eucalyptuses damaged by vandals, Laguna Beach police say

Laguna Beach police are treating as vandalism cuts to the trunks of eucalyptus trees at two south Laguna locations.

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 wrote in an email.

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Across South Coast Highway at the Montage Laguna Beach, five eucalyptus trees sustained 1-to-2-inch cuts at the base of their trunks, police said.

A Montage security guard reported the cuts to police Nov. 21.

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Police said the cuts to the trees at the Montage, a luxury hotel at 30801 S. Coast Hwy., occurred between 5:30 p.m. Nov. 20 and 10 a.m. Nov. 21. The trees are next to a walkway near the highway, Kleiser said.

An arborist said it would take four to six weeks to determine if the trees would recover from the damage, Kleiser said. Those 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.

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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