Press-Republican

Offbeat Crime News

October 7, 2012

Police make arrest in theft of Boston tree burls

BOSTON (AP) — Police have made an arrest in the mysterious disappearance of burls from trees in Boston parks.

Burls are the giant knots on the trunks of most tree species prized by woodworkers for their intricate grain.

Police went to a Dorchester apartment on Wednesday after a witness reported seeing the man shaving scrap pieces off a burl in a park, then leaving with a chainsaw and entering an apartment building.

The Boston Globe reports that 44-year-old Michael Scanlan is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on a charge of willful and malicious destruction of property.

Greg Mosman, Boston's arborist, noticed burls cut from trees at city parks last spring. Removing them can cut a tree's lifespan.

Woodworkers say a burl can fetch from $50 to $500 depending on size and quality.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.boston.com/globe

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