FLINT TWP. — Rather than drive to a Christmas tree farm, store or lot, apparently someone took a look at a large, healthy blue spruce pine tree growing at the northwest corner of Graham and Corunna roads and decided it would make a nice Christmas tree.
Township officials want to find out who chopped down the tree just before Christmas.
The tree was one of several planted for beautification by members of the township’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Trustee Barb Vert, a member of the Parks and Rec Committee, recalled the great effort expended to plant the tree about three years ago.
It was pouring rain but the crew had dug the holes and were determined to get the trees planted, enduring stinging slaps in the face by the tree branches, that drew blood, she said.
“Someone got a nice tree,’’ Vert said, of the pre-Christmas theft. “It (beautification) is a lot of hard work and it is disheartening to see that.”
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said Vert was putting it nicely.
“Someone decided that tree planted by the parks and rec would make a nice Christmas tree and chopped it down.”
If anyone witnessed suspicious activity on that busy street corner, Miller asked that they contact township officials. The lot is adjacent to The Dive Shop and across the street from Rave Cinemas Flint West 14.
It is a larceny, with penalties depending on the value of the tree, said Police Chief George Sippert.
But this type of theft is not unheard of and has happened before, he said.
“Even in residential neighborhoods, people lose trees around Christmas time,” he said.
Vert also said the tree theft is the latest mishap for the parks and rec beatification projects. During the summer, county crews mowed down plantings near the freeway that the group put in a few years ago to beautify the area.
Parks and rec projects are funded by limited grant funds which makes them costly to replace.
“We have a parks and rec committee that pours its heart and soul into beautifying the township,” Miller said. “It is unbelievable that someone would choose to cut that tree down for their Christmas tree.”
The tree was the largest and nicest among those planted there.
Chief Sippert said that anyone with information about the tree choppers should contact him at 810-600-3250 or online at mi.ftpd.us/default.aspx/MenuItemID/305/MenuGroup/Home.htm