We have periodically been faced with a particularly twisted class of criminals who destroy nature, including historic trees (here and here and here), out of some deep-seated anger or objectification. The latest victim is “The Senator,” a 125-foot-tall bald cypress tree in the Longwood’s Big Tree Park in Florida. It was believed to be the oldest of its kind in North America and the fifth oldest tree in the world. Now it is a burned out trunk.
Police suspect arson since there was not lightning in the area. The fire required firefighters to lay over 800 feet of hose but they were too late to save the tree. They then had to deal with huge branches falling a hundred feet down upon them.
The problem with arson and other related laws is that there is often no special code provision for the burning of historic locations. However, judges will often sentence the culprits at the top of a range in such a case. Of course, even our government can at times show little care for historical trees.
Source: Orlando Sentinel