Vandals Target Ancient Oaks and Pines With Chainsaw in Israel

treehugger oak trees israel Two Carmel forest oak trees lay on ground after being cut down: photo by National Parks Service’s Nathan El Baz

It wasn’t enough that less than two years ago Israel’s Carmel forest areas suffered one of the worst fires in Israel’s modern history . Nearby communities like the Ein Hod artist village and Kibbutz Beit Oren suffered considerable damage to both property and forested areas. A new menace has now destroyed some of this area’s oldest oak trees. This menace, in the form of sheer vandalism, has resulted in the cutting down of eight large trees, some of them indigenous oak trees said to be hundreds of years old. 

Two oak trees that are shown in a photo above look as if they have been cut by a motorized chain saw. Nathan Elbaz of the National Parks Service, told Yney that the vandalized trees were discovered during a routine area inspection by park workers. Although illegal tree cutting and chopping occurs frequently in northern Israel, these incidents appear to have been  acts of vandalism since the felled trees were left where they lay.

In an interview with  local treehugger Oded Yaffe, who takes care of sick and injured trees all over Israel,  he told us at Green Prophet that he saw this sad news on TV and says that “whoever did this thing is really crazy, and can just as much kill someone on the road in a ‘hit and run’ incident.”

Yaffe, who takes care of sick and injured trees all over Israel, didn’t want to pin this incident on a “nationalistic” or Anti-Semitic incident; but fears that the motives behind this kind of behavior could be far reaching. “It’s like a kindergarten teacher telling her young charges that trees are problematic and should be dealt with accordingly. In reality, the children and the teacher need to be given more education as to the value of trees to people,” he says.

Yaffe also talked about some recent tree damage incidents in populated locations like Herzlia and Petach Tikvah in which trees like eucalyptus were severely damaged and three of of them actually killed. “It’s as if they were shot by a gun,” he says.

Regarding his work in trying to restore trees, which has been publicized a lot by the media, Yaffe says that “many people  are still  not aware of the work I do to help save and restore trees. More awareness needs to be done to make the general public more appreciative to the contribution trees make in  improving our lives.”

::YNe

Read more on trees and forests in Israel:
Treehugger Friend to Sick Trees
Kibbutz Recovers from Killer Forest Fire by Going Green
Jewish World to Rehabilitate Damaged Carmel Forest
Worst Fire in Israel’s Modern History Continues to Rage Out of Control

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