BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Buncombe County authorities have been investigating after several trees were vandalized at Alexander River Park.
Buncombe County Recreation Services were made aware of the vandalism at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Officials said bark was cut off of several mature tulip poplar trees along the river trail.
The amount of bark removed from the trees will likely cause the trees to die because the layer of tissue right below the bark is what carries nutrients throughout the tree. Without nutrients, the roots will die and stop sending water and minerals to the leaves.
If the trees have to be removed, it could cause flooding and bank erosion problems in the future, officials said. These consequences could also affect the water quality.
According to officials, the bark of the trees is usually harvested for high-end furniture, siding or artwork.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism should to make an anonymous call to Buncombe County Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050. If the information results in an arrest, the community member may be eligible for a reward.