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Fri Jan 14, 2022, 01:28 PM

siblings fell 250 yr old tree located 7.5 ft outside property, sold it for $2K, could face prison


https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/14/realestate/pre-covid-remodel.html


Pair Face Prison After Felling 'Irreplaceable' Tree
250-year-old black walnut tree, among Ohio's largest, was on park district land



A brother and sister in Ohio could face prison after cutting down what a prosecutor describes as an "irreplaceable" black walnut tree, one of the largest in the state and perhaps more than 250 years old. "This is so ridiculous that they're doing this," Todd Jones, 56, who felled the tree located 7.5 feet outside his property boundary on land owned by Cleveland Metroparks in the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville, tells Cleveland.com. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O'Malley, however, says he takes seriously his office's duty to protect the 24,000-acre regional park system. "We will not ignore people trespassing onto park property and illegally cutting down irreplaceable trees for profit," he tells the New York Times.

A Metroparks employee was checking on saplings planted on land newly acquired by the park district when she noticed cages around the saplings had been smashed and at least one sapling had been destroyed, apparently by the falling of the massive black walnut tree, whose "freshly cut" stump stood nearby. A relative living at Jones' next-door property said the 56-year-old had planned to hire a logging company to cut down the tree so it could be sold for lumber to help pay off $15,000 in tax liens. The Cleveland Metroparks Police Department determined the tree, with a circumstance of 17.25 feet, was worth at least $28,800, though it was allegedly sold for $2,000. The two largest known black walnut trees in Ohio measure 17.5 feet and just under 19 feet around, per Cleveland.com.

Police say Jones claimed the tree was his, despite admitting to never seeing a boundary survey. They also say he initially denied knowing who removed the tree before claiming sole responsibility in an effort to protect his sister, Laurel Hoffman, who'd signed a contract with the logging company claiming a property survey showed her to be the tree's rightful owner. Both Jones and Hoffman are charged with grand theft and falsification, fourth-degree felonies, and face up to 18 months in prison on each count if convicted.

https://www.newser.com/story/315669/pair-face-prison-after-felling-irreplaceable-tree.html

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Reply siblings fell 250 yr old tree located 7.5 ft outside property, sold it for $2K, could face prison (Original post)
Demovictory9 Jan 14 OP
Hugin Jan 14 #1
RAB910 Jan 14 #2
XanaDUer2 Jan 14 #3
ret5hd Jan 14 #4
Demovictory9 Jan 14 #7
pandr32 Jan 14 #5
Demovictory9 Jan 14 #6
BobTheSubgenius Jan 14 #20
SergeStorms Jan 14 #23
vanlassie Jan 14 #8
maxsolomon Jan 14 #9
Harker Jan 14 #11
maxsolomon Jan 14 #12
Harker Jan 14 #14
cstanleytech Jan 14 #10
maxsolomon Jan 14 #13
cstanleytech Jan 14 #17
maxsolomon Jan 14 #25
cstanleytech Jan 14 #26
maxsolomon Jan 14 #27
thesquanderer Jan 14 #19
stopdiggin Jan 14 #21
Deminpenn Jan 14 #28
Trueblue1968 Jan 14 #15
Grokenstein Jan 14 #16
ejbr Jan 14 #18
Good egg Jan 14 #22
Raine Jan 14 #24

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 01:33 PM

1. Tree theft is also a problem for private landowners.

A relative of mine would come up a few short every year. Of course, they wouldn't live long enough to see any of them grow back.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 01:53 PM

2. Disgusting

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 01:59 PM

3. Assholes

Throw the book at them

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:00 PM

4. Potential PSA:

Scene: closeup of man and woman.

Man: on xxx date I cut down this tree.
(show picture of tree)
Woman: and I sold it.
Together: the tree wasn’t ours…it was yours.
Man: this is our reward
(pull camera back to show man and woman, both in orange, both shackled, in an obvious jail/prison setting)

Narrator: Park property is OUR property…not yours.


Knock a week off their sentences if they make it convincing.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:57 PM

7. that would get people's attention

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:40 PM

5. I don't believe they sold it for only 2 grand

Neither of them can be trusted. Hopefully, at least $25,000 is added as a property lien, and community service of something environmental (picking up garbage at the very least) for a long period is added as punishment. They will lose their home to pay off the tax liens and tree value.

Important to note I have no idea how these legal things work. I am just really angry and want to see them held accountable.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:56 PM

6. they definitely can't be trusted

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:43 PM

20. Those costs don't have to be the end of fiscal penalties, though.

There are also fines available to the judge, if he chooses to apply them.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:27 PM

23. I read on MSN that they sold it for 10k.

I don't know which number is correct, but even at 10k it's way below market value. A tree that size is unheard of. I've heard of old growth Black Walnut trees of going for 15k - 20k each. The number of board feet in this tree is of galactic proportions. 🤯

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:03 PM

8. Assholes.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:13 PM

9. The logging contractor should also be prosecuted.

They just took the property owner's word on 17' circ. exceptional tree? It takes 15 min. to suss it out.

Also - hopefully a 4th-degree felony is enough to take their gun rights.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:25 PM

11. While the article mentioned 17' circumstance...

I'm pretty sure they meant circumference.

I hope they pay dearly for that crime.

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Response to Harker (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:27 PM

12. good catch. I'll need to edit.

when I see numbers and old trees mentioned I always think about "DBH", diameter at breast height. That's the term Landscape Architects and Surveyors use.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:33 PM

14. I hate spell checker.

I'd sooner live with my own errors than suffer those it puts on me.

Still, a big, beautiful tree murdered.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:18 PM

10. Simple solution and penalty for them should be that they must pay the entire cost of finding and

replanting a similar 250 year old tree to the site.
That will hopefully cause anyone thinking of doing something similar to think long and hard before doing it because transplanting such a tree is very.........verrrrrrrry expensive.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:29 PM

13. that's the 28K number. "value" of the tree.

I've done projects where trees that were to be retained had $ amounts assigned to them and the contractors had to bond those amounts in case they damaged the them.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:36 PM

17. So it would only cost 28k to find and transplant such a tree?

I thought that would be in the mid to high 100k area.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:27 PM

25. it's impossible to replace a tree of that age and size.

"value" is subjective.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:45 PM

26. Ahh so trees of that size cannot be transplanted is what you mean. To bad as it would be

the perfect punishment if they had to pay the entire cost to do it.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:54 PM

27. I bet they could be, but it would prohibitively expensive

as you surmised.



That tree is nowhere near 17' circumference.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:43 PM

19. That's not really a total solution either, because...

...taking it from somewhere else still mean there's one fewer of these trees in existence. In that sense, it's not "replaceable."

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:09 PM

21. replanting something that size

is probably not even possible. I'll defer to any that have real experience or expertise - but the root structure on this thing ... Going to be bigger than a house.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:55 PM

28. Transplanting is not possible with a tree that size

or even one much, much smaller.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:34 PM

15. LOCK THEM UP and throw away the key

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:34 PM

16. This land is my land, that land is my land

I ain't need no got-damn stinking survey
Everything I see is my property
Everything is about me, me, me

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 03:36 PM

18. POS N/T

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:22 PM

22. Cemetery trees

4 generations of my family are buried in a once beautiful cemetery in Western Pa. Some chose their plots in advance so that they could be with a favorite giant maple or oak or walnut. When I went back there in the 90's most of the legacy hardwoods had been sold to a logging company, hardly any shade left. Again, the might dollar in lieu of peace, beauty, family heritage.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:27 PM

24. So sad 250 yrs now gone, that tree can never be replaced. 😢 nt

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