Tree lovers on Bedford Avenue are hunting a pair of arbor slashers who allegedly chopped down dozens of maples then tossed them into a wood-chipper and drove away in a car with an obscured license plate.
The chainsaw-wielding tree-killers cut through a fence then chopped down 45 shrubs and trees — some of them 30 feet tall — inside a gated garden near Park Place on June 17, according to neighbors who snapped photographic evidence of the slaughter.
The man-on-tree violence outrages neighbors, who say the greenspace is a comforting and much-loved community meet-up spot that was gifted to residents of nearby buildings for use as a garden in 1994 by a non-profit.
“It’s close to our hearts,” said neighbor Ginger Clark.
Clark — who called the incident “tragic and unexplained” — said she and other garden-goers awoke to the sound of chainsaws just after 6:30 am on the day of the massacre and gathered in front of the mini-park and watched in horror as two men tossed the trees into a portable mulching machine, then drove away in a black Mercedes Benz truck.
Witness Larry Francis said the driver covered the truck’s license plate with a silver flap so he could not be tracked.
Neighbors are upset — and they’re not sure whose responsible.
The blog I Love Franklin Ave published a memo from some garden-supporters who claim a developer has been trying to seize the lot, which many call the “Bedford Avenue Community Park.”
Records show the land has long belonged to private owners — and was sold last week to a group called Bedford Realty LLC. The new owners could not be reached for comment.
Some residents have filed a police report with 77th Precinct, which did not return calls seeking comment by press time.
Garden advocates held a candlelight vigil on June 27.
“Those trees brought a comfort and shade to the block,” Francis said. “It’s upsetting.”Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cn