Ten trees at Wakefield Hospice poisoned in further attack by vandals

Ten trees have been poisoned at a hospice following the unlawful felling of a 60ft lime tree.

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after the tree on the grounds of Wakefield Hospice was felled. He's been bailed pending further enquiries.

The tree had stood outside for 30 years and the hospice said it had been a symbol of the site's growth.

However, the hospice says ten more trees on their grounds appear to have been poisoned in another attack.

Helen Knowles, who works at the hospice, said: "It’s just absolutely sickening.

"The felling of one of our beloved hospice trees was met with shock and anger across our community, and this latest development has really shaken us to the core.

"For over thirty years we have been here for one simple reason – to provide patients and their families with the highest level of care and support at the time they need it most.

"To think that someone out there, in our local community, has that much disdain towards our hospice grounds and has the sheer audacity to attempt to kill off our beautiful trees – well there are simply no words for it."

An inspection found that around 50 Ecoplug tree stump killers had been inserted into ten trees - all of which were up to 100 years old and located near the felled tree.

Ecoplug tree stump killers are intended for the killing of roots after a tree has been felled.

They are designed to poison a tree's roots, leaving a stump to rot away. Being inserted into a living tree could result in it becoming unstable, suffering serious damage or dying.

Ms Knowles continued: "It is deeply saddening that we will now need to reevaluate our security measures.

"Our grounds are only intended to provide comfort for those going through the most challenging times, but they have sadly been targeted by a calculated act of vandalism once again."

Staff at the hospice say it's absolutely 'sickening'. Credit: Wakefield Hospice

Wakefield Hospice say it hopes the trees, which have each stood there for almost a century, can survive.

They fear having to fell the ten poisoned trees and say that removing their roots could be a huge cost for the charity.

They are now in consultation with experts regarding the future of the ten poisoned trees.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: "Officers are aware that further damage has been caused to trees on the premises following the initial report to police and this is also being investigated."

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