A group is offering a $1,000 reward for any information about the person or people who have destroyed hundreds of young trees in Golden Gate Park in the last nine months.
San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department spokeswoman Connie Chan said more than 200 trees have been damaged since September, with the most recent vandalism occurring in May.
She said the trees are left to die and have to be removed after the vandals damage the treetops, which exposes them to disease and rot.
The vandals have been targeting trees in sections of the western end of the park undergoing reforestation and are marked as so, Chan said.
She said the young trees, which are about 3 to 5 years old, cost about $250 each. The damage has cost the department about $50,000 in a nine-month period.
Chan said that cost does not include staff time and effort to grow and nurture the vegetation.
She said about 1,000 trees are planted in the park each year and, in an average year, about 20 to 30 trees are vandalized.
Chan called the situation "very disheartening."
The San Francisco Forest Alliance, a group unaffiliated with the parks department, has pledged $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the tree vandals.