NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The city is searching for a possible arbor assassin after eight pistachio trees were poisoned on Baronne Street.
"It's apparent that the trees were tampered with, someone drilled holes into the trees and may have put herbicide in them in order to kill the trees off," Richard McCall, director of operations for the Downtown Development District, said.
The discovery was made within the last few days when business owners on the street noticed several of the trees' leaves turning brown.
"They provide enormous amounts of shade in the neighborhood, especially on days like today," Michael Duplantier, who runs a business on the block, said. "The trees got larger than a lot of us expected they would, and that worried some people because of the impact on the ground water, but by and large the people love these trees and the trees on Julia Street."
Now the city is trying to figure out exactly what happened, but catching the culprit who drilled holes into the trees may not be so easy.
"The city will start an investigation to determine how they were poisoned, what the time frame is, and then they'll go from there," McCall said, but noted that narrowing down exactly when it happened may be difficult.
The DDD should find out within the next few weeks if the tampered trees are dead. If so, the trees will be removed and replaced.