Fenway man charged as burly thief

Sawed-off burl. Photo by Boston Parks.Missing burl. Boston Parks photo.Boston Police report arresting a man
who may be responsible for vandalizing trees in the Emerald Necklace in recent months - by sawing off burls, large bark protuberances that are popular among woodworkers and sculptors.

Police say Mike Scanlan's mistake this morning was wielding a chainsaw on a tree in the Fenway Victory Garden, where several witnesses saw and heard him - and then called police after they watched him walk over to an apartment building at 15 Park Drive.

When officers arrived at the gardens, they found "what appeared to be several pieces of freshly cut wood," police say.

Scanlan stepped outside his apartment when police knocked and said he'd gotten the wood from a friend - whose name he couldn't remember. He will be arraigned on a charge of willful and malicious destruction of property, police say, adding officers found a chainsaw in his apartment, which they seized for evidence.

The Boston Parks Department reports it has faced a particularly knotty problem over the past six months with burls being sawed off trees - at a dozen locations along the Emerald Necklace, in particular in Franklin Park.

The department says burls are "highly desired for woodworking, sculpture, and inlays on the interiors of high-end automobiles." The problem is that large gaping wounds left by sawing them off are as bad for trees as they would be for people and can lead to a tree's death.

Brookline and Watertown also reported burl thefts.

Innocent, etc.

Ed. note: If convicted, as punishment, he should be forced to watch the Rankin-Bass production of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" until they go mad.



Free tagging: 


If you watch those

If you watch those woodworking shows on television, you know that burls are used on the lathe to make bowls with elaborate figuring in the wood.

No time to watch those shows

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We're too busy watching 23-year-olds on "House Hunters" whining about how their brokers can't find them a house with three bedrooms, a garage, granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances for the $180,000 they have to spend.

i saw that too...

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It was her DAD'S $180,000 she had to spend. What was her deal with chain link fences? I think her parents must have caged her in one as a child... hence paying her off now?

International equally bad

Some idiot pouting because there aren't current, enormous American style kitchen, bath, and appliances w/SS dishwasher and local charm in whatever corner of the globe being moved to. Often newlyweds where that "ugly American" spouse needs to be given a reality check. When in Rome ...

Burl theft

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You learn something new everyday.

> Head Elf

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Now I remember why I never liked that movie.

Let's not lose the narrative - $ for drugs

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Take a look at the two who were arrested. Let's see what was taking in evidence.

If the Park Rangers and police would actually *go* into the Victory Gardens on patrol, the drug sales/use and prostitution would decrease and guys wouldn't think about freely taking chain saws to trees. Usually, only BFD and EMS goes in on overdose calls.

Police in the fens

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The last time the police made a big push ( summer 2010 ) to get rid of all the drugs and public sex in the fens they were met with huge pushback from the gay community for harrssment and had to back off . It's really pretty sad the city had to back off from enforcing laws against open drug use and public sex but that's the world we live in . It's sad for the people who maintain those gardens and have to remove needles ... Used condoms ... Bloody napkins etc from their gardens ... Oh and the human feces that people leave behind ... But letting the police enforce the laws in the fens is harrssment ....

Spiking Burls

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It would serve their theiving, tree-killing arses right to hit a big metal spike in the middle of cutting off a burl.

I know someone who uses them to stabilize a giant burl in front of his house.


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I goofed for a few minutes.