Des Moines, Iowa — Thursday, August 10, 2023 — Five trees that were planted as a part of the City’s 6th Avenue Corridor Streetscape Project were vandalized sometime before Thursday morning between Forest Avenue and Indiana Avenue.
The trees, planted last year, cost the Des Moines Forestry Division $410 each in planting and watering and it will cost another $2,050 to replace them all.
“While we’re certainly frustrated about the financial impact, the fact that someone would intentionally destroy trees that add so much value to the community is what is truly disheartening for our team,” City Forester Shane McQuillan said.
The basswood trees (Tilia americana) were six-to-eight-feet in height and had been growing for approximately six years before they were destroyed. The City’s forestry department is currently working to increase the City’s tree canopy by planting more trees in the right-of-way as detailed in the 2020 Urban Forest Master Plan.
“Street trees offer cooling benefits, stormwater mitigation and can even act as traffic calming features, which is essential here on 6th Avenue to reduce speeds and keep pedestrians safe,” McQuillan said.
The Forestry Division plans to replace the vandalized trees this fall.
Interim Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
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