Buncombe County officials say several mature tulip poplar trees will likely have to be removed in Alexander River Park because someone stripped large sections of bark off of each one. The county recreation services believes a mechanical saw was used to remove the bark.
The missing bark was noticed at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and authorities are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact Buncombe County Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050. The bark was removed from the base of the trees. A county press release states that if bark is removed from one-half of the trees circumference, the tree will likely die because of a layer of tissue beneath the bark carries food produced in the leaves by photosynthesis to its roots.
Bark from poplar trees can harvested to use for furniture, siding, and artwork according that county press release. It added that the removal of the trees will lead to bank erosion and lower water quality at the park along the French Broad River.