The Seaquist family is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who chopped down 639 cherry trees in one of their orchards in Ellison Bay sometime between 8:30 pm Wednesday, Sept. 18 and 5:15 pm Thursday.
“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-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 somewhere between $15,000 and $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.”