Oak Bluffs Police are investigating the illegal removal of a catalpa tree near Ocean Park on town property.
Mark Crossland of Crossland Landscape, who maintains Ocean Park for the town, posted a photo of the tree stump on the Islanders Talk Facebook page, asking anyone with information on who cut down the 35-foot catalpa tree to contact him, the Oak Bluffs Police, the parks department, or the highway department.
Speaking to The Times by phone Monday, Sgt. Dan Cassidy said police received a call from a witness on Sunday, who after seeing a post on Islander’s Talk from Mark Crossland, said they saw the tree being removed in the afternoon on New Year’s Day by a “white male in a long coat chopping the tree down with an axe,” accompanied by a couple of other men. Cassidy said he has been in contact with homeowners in the area and tree companies.
Also speaking to the Times by phone Monday, highway superintendent Richard Combra said the tree was “pretty old” and the parks department wanted to keep it.
“The town definitely didn’t take it down,” Combra said. “It had been there quite a while.”