Forestry Journal:

This piece is an extract from our A View from the Forest (previously Forestry Features) newsletter, which is emailed out at 4PM every Wednesday with a round-up of the week's top stories. 

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ANOTHER week, another outcry over the loss of a "symbolic tree". This time it was a hospice's 30-year-old lime that faced the wrath of a reckless intruder, who took an axe to the tree for no apparent reason as far as anyone can tell.

Patients and staff at Wakefield Hospice have told of their shock at the overnight vandalism. Police have promised justice. Even the local and national press picked up on the story.

In a letter sent to residents detailing the destruction, Janet Millard, director of clinical services, wrote: “Just after many of our patients had finished their supper or received their evening medication, a person (as caught on CCTV) chose to trespass in the hospice grounds and hack down one of our hospice trees.

Forestry Journal: The 30-year-old lime tree was hacked down by an intruder

“A tree that has stood for over 30 years, a tree that metaphorically symbolises the growth of Wakefield Hospice, cut down with complete disregard for the potential damage it could cause."

She added: “We are incredibly saddened and angered by the disrespectful and illegal actions that this individual chose to undertake."

It feels like we've been here before. While the lime tree's demise hasn't quite attracted the same international attention as that of the Sycamore Gap's (funnily enough, some have suggested the hospice's tree is actually a sycamore), it has still hit home with many.

Forestry Journal: Police officers look at the felled tree at Sycamore Gap, next to Hadrian’s Wall, in Northumberland.

Forestry Journal isn't exactly against cutting trees down – heck, it's literally one of our favourite things in the right context – but whenever it's the result of vandalism or something similar, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Only last month was there an outpouring of grief in a Devon village when its Broad Oak fell. "It's like a family bereavement," one resident told The Guardian, as mystery remains of the reasoning behind the 700-year-old tree's fate.

Trees mean an awful lot to an awful many people. There are few industries that could say that about their central theme.