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'An evil thing to do': Eye residents' horror as root killer drilled into 25-year-old willow tree




People were almost brought to tears yesterday after discovering root killer plugs had been drilled into the base of a 25-year-old willow tree.

Suffolk police are now asking people to come forward with information after the plugs were found to have been forced into the contorted willow in an effort to kill it.

The tree, which stands at more than 20 feet tall, is situated in the grounds of Eye Community Centre, and was intended to be the centrepiece of a planned memorial garden – but doubts linger over whether it will survive.

The 25-year-old willow tree was intended to be the centrepeice of a new memorial garden at Eye Community Centre. Credit: Kim Crispin
The 25-year-old willow tree was intended to be the centrepeice of a new memorial garden at Eye Community Centre. Credit: Kim Crispin

“We’re shocked at this sickening act of mindless vandalism,” said Kim Crispin, a trustee at the community centre, who discovered the plugs (pictured left) on Wednesday.

“I could have cried – it’s the most beautiful tree I have ever seen. I have no idea why someone would do this – it’s just an evil thing to do.”

Two smaller trees were also targeted with the plugs, and bark was removed from the base of all three in an effort to accelerate their demise.

Purple root killer capsules were discovered at the base of the tree. Credit: Kim Crispin (49955483)
Purple root killer capsules were discovered at the base of the tree. Credit: Kim Crispin (49955483)

Typically used for destroying tree stumps, root killer plugs work by releasing glyphosate into a tree’s root system, where it blocks the plants vital amino acid formation, effectively killing it.

Plans to transform the area into a memorial garden, with plaques commemorating loved ones, have now been put on hold.

“Three trees were attacked,” said Mrs Crispin, 46. “The trustees are giving up their own time to try to create a memorial garden for residents in Eye, somewhere for people to put plaques up in memory of lost loved ones, and sit and reflect.

“Now we’re not sure if we can go ahead with planting more trees and plants, if this is what we’re up against.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “We can confirm a report has been received of criminal damage outside Eye Community Centre in Magdalen Street.

“Three trees at the community centre have had their bark removed around the base and capsules have been drilled into the trunk.

“Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity or knows who is responsible should contact police, quoting crime reference 37/42606/2.”

It is the latest in a string of vandalism incidents and anti-social behaviour at the community centre.

Last year, a bench was destroyed outside the centre, while in April racist graffiti was spray-painted on ramps across the road at Eye Skate Park.

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