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.
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.