An unidentified man was arrested March 30 for cutting into the pecan 'Indian marker tree' off Peavy Road. (Photo by Amy Martin)

Photo by Amy Martin

Albert Santos was arrested in March when he was caught chopping limbs off a beloved tree in Lake Highlands Park near Peavy. Neighbors closely monitor the tree, which has been vandalized before, and when they saw a man with a chainsaw cutting on it, they got involved (read the original account, it shows the true lengths neighbors will go to protect our trees).

Trucks were blocked in and chainsaw threats ensued, but eventually the man was arrested before he could cut down the entire tree. Many suspect he planned to sell the pecan wood for barbecue, which can be quite lucrative.

At the August White Rock Task Force meeting, member Michael Jung said that the man was arrested for more than just illegally hacking up a city tree. During the incident, Santos claimed he was Dallas Park staff, a ruse the police did not buy.

Now, community members are debating how to use wood rescued from the tree hacking. Shana Hamilton, a Community Program Coordinator with Dallas Park and Recreation Department, said it’ll be up to the community to decide how it’s best used. One 90 Smoked Meats offered to throw a community barbecue with the wood, while others have said it should be given to artists to make pieces that can be sold to benefit either the park or the tree.

Will Stonum, a Park Department employee, said that they have been in touch with the Eastwood Riparian Committee, but that that no decision has yet been made on what to do with the wood.

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