Reward for Cherry Tree Vandals Grows

The remains of one of the 639 cherry trees that were chopped down the night of Sept. 18. The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators now stands at $2,000.

People have been registering their disgust for the vandals who chopped down 639 Seaquist Orchard Montmorency cherry trees on the Seaquist Orchards Farm Market Facebook page, including one woman who suggested the perpetrators have their hands chopped off when they are caught.

But more often people are offering their prayers to the Seaquist family, offering help to replant cherry trees next spring and offering to contribute more money to the $2,000 reward already offered by the family and the Door County Sheriffs Department.

The incident took place between 8:30 pm on Sept. 18 and 5:15 pm on Sept. 19.

“It’s pretty disappointing that where we live we’ve got that kind of thing going on,” said Jim Seaquist, who owns Seaquist Orchards with his father, Dale. “It’s more sad than anything. There’s no real gain.”

The trees were planted in the orchard off Highway 42 last spring.

“We plant a two-year-old tree. They’re grown for us for two years at a nursery in Washington, so they’re basically three-years-old now,” Seaquist said, adding that the damage amounts to close to $20,000.

“It’s unfortunate for all the guys who worked hard to get them in there,” he said.

Seaquist employee Zach Moore was in the orchard Wednesday night until about 8:30 pm.

“I drove around the damaged area two times. I can guarantee you it was not there Wednesday at 8:30,” he said. “Jim’s son, Cole Seaquist, noticed the damage at 5:15 Thursday night. So it happened sometime between those two times.”

“I think it’s really, really sad that somebody would do this,” Moore said. “There’s not only cost, but the guys in the crew put a lot of work into these trees. They take a lot of care, for somebody to come and do something like this reflects poorly on the whole community. I think it really shows the direction we’re going. I hope whoever did it can be brought to justice. I think that’s important.”

If you have information regarding the person or persons responsible for the act, call the sheriffs department at 920.746.2400.