A MAN has been arrested in connection with the suspected illegal felling of a tree in the grounds of a hospice. 

Police say the 37-year-old has been released on bail pending further enquiries into the incident at Wakefield Hospice. 

As we have previously reported, the site's 60-foot, 30-year-old "symbolic" lime was felled by an intruder earlier this month, leading to widespread upset. 

READ MORE: Upset after intruder chops down Wakefield Hospice's 'symbolic' tree

A West Yorkshire Police statement read: "A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and has been bailed pending further enquiries." 

His arrest comes as hospice bosses have revealed their shock after ten trees appeared to be poisoned at the site in a sperate incident, coming just days after the lime tree was targeted. 

An inspection found that around 50 Ecoplug tree stump killers had been inserted into trees - all of which were up to 100 years old and located near the felled tree.

Ecoplug tree stump killers are intended for the killing of roots after a tree has been felled.

They are designed to poison a tree's roots, leaving a stump to rot away. Being inserted into a living tree could result in it becoming unstable, suffering serious damage or dying.

Helen Knowles from Wakefield Hospice said: “It’s just absolutely sickening.

Forestry Journal: Wakefield Hospice revealed ten trees had been targeted by Ecoplug tree stump killers Wakefield Hospice revealed ten trees had been targeted by Ecoplug tree stump killers (Image: Social media)

“The felling of one of our beloved hospice trees was met with shock and anger across our community, and this latest development has really shaken us to the core."

“To think that someone out there, in our local community, has that much disdain towards our hospice grounds and has the sheer audacity to attempt to kill off our beautiful trees – well there are simply no words for it." 

A police statement added: "Officers are aware that further damage has been caused to trees on the premises following the initial report to police and this is also being investigated. "