Newly planted trees worth around £300 snapped by vandals in South Shields
They were among nine trees to be planted on King George Road over last winter, at a cost of around £150 each.
South Tyneside Council is asking anyone who has any information about the damage, which is thought to have happened over the weekend, to come forward.
The trees will now be monitored but may never recover from the damage – and even if they do they will be unsightly for several years.
Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “It is so disappointing that someone would deliberately damage trees in this way.
“Trees contribute enormously to the beauty and quality of our open spaces as well as enriching the landscape of our urban environment.
“They also bring a multitude of other benefits, including providing a habitat for wildlife and acting as a crucial tool in our fight against climate change.
“The vast majority of people highly value trees and I am sure they will be just as disgusted as we are that someone has vandalised these two.
“If they do manage to survive the damage, they will take longer to establish and will be unsightly for several years.
“Members of our tree team, who work so hard making sure the Borough’s trees are healthy and looking their best, are really saddened by this damage.”
In the short term, the trees, which were among almost 4,000 to be planted across the borough last winter, will be left in place and monitored.READ MORE: South Tyneside Council exploring options for reopening Middlefields Recycling Village
South Tyneside Council has a team of specialist officers dedicated to all aspects in the management of trees. This includes regularly assessing them to make sure they are not damaged or threatened with disease and do not cause an unacceptable risk to people and property.
The council was one of the first local authorities locally to produce a comprehensive tree and woodland policy with tree protection and sustainability at its forefront.
The damage has been reported to Northumbria Police and any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.