Two huge sycamore trees which have stood in Salford for 50 years will have to be chopped down after vandals attacked them.
Salford City Council is appealing for witnesses and information about the attack on the trees near Lyon Grove, Worsley which was discovered on Thursday May 30.
Vandals have gouged one metre ring around each tree right down to the bare wood – a practice known as girdling. It means the entire tree will now die as it cannot draw up water and food because of the breach in the bark.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said the vandals’ attack on the giant trees which stand beside the East Lancashire Road was sickening.
“It looks as if a chainsaw was used and it would have taken 15 to 20 minutes of work to do this. Whoever is responsible has deliberately set out to kill these two magnificent trees – this is not just a random bit of vandalism,” he said.
“This has happened right beside the A580, one of the busiest roads in Salford, so we are hoping someone has seen those responsible in the act and maybe even caught them on dashcam. If they will come forward and give us the evidence we will do all we can to prosecute those responsible for criminal damage.
“It takes at least 50 years to grow a tree of this size and stature and the council will now have to waste scarce public money removing these trees because as they die they could become dangerous.
“When we remove dead, dying or damaged trees we replace every one with two more trees and we will do so for these two trees but four new young trees cannot compensate for the loss of these magnificent specimens.”
The vandalism has been reported to Greater Manchester Police.