British Columbia

'It's a travesty': Vandals poison pine trees in Kamloops, B.C.

Residents in Kamloops, B.C., are upset after a group of pine trees on city parkland were individually drilled into and allegedly filled with chemicals to kill the trees and improve property views.

Resident who discovered damage says perpetrators trying to improve property views

Sawdust at the base of a pine tree in the Sahali neighbourhood of Kamloops, B.C., where vandals allegedly drilled into the trees and filled them with poison. (Submitted/Ross Spina)

Ross Spina was sitting on the back deck of his Kamloops home admiring the towering pines beyond his property line when he heard the shrill sound of a drill from the stand of trees.

It was late evening and in the dim light he could make out the figures of two people. When he walked down to see what they were doing, they fled. The next day in the daylight, Spina could see the damage they had caused.

Spina lives on Huntleigh Crescent in the Sahali neighbourhood of South Kamloops and spends most evenings looking at the pine trees on the city parkland behind his home.

He heard drilling on Thursday of last week and on Friday he said he discovered 11 trees had been drilled into and filled with chemicals. 

"I just think it's a travesty," Spina, who has lived in his home for almost 30 years, told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce.

Eleven trees total were drilled into and packed with poison. (Submitted/Ross Spina)

Spina called the City of Kamloops and said a bylaw officer and an arborist have viewed the damage. If the perpetrators are caught, they will face a fine per tree.

But first the city will have to prove who did it.

"I guess you have to look at the sightlines of those trees and say, 'Who does it benefit?'" said Spina, who thinks the vandals were trying to improve property views of the North Thompson River.

He said his neighbours are also devastated by the damage.

"We are blessed to live here. It is an incredible, incredible place," said Spina, who is worried about the impact on the wildlife that take refuge in those trees.

"It's just not right ... the owls and deer and all that. I hope they stay there."

Daybreak Kamloops

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