Thousands of dollars in plants destroyed in Tucson

 Wednesday, October 16, 2013

 AZ Central

A single act, done under the cover of darkness, recently turned thousands of native plants lovingly grown from seeds into little more than kindling. An unknown vandal, carrying gallons of herbicide and a professional sprayer, broke into the Pima County Native Plant Nursery off Roger Road last month and destroyed nearly $34,000 worth of plants. The damage likely means expanses of county rights of way, denuded for road projects, will continue to look like moonscapes indefinitely because the now-dead plants were intended to landscape those and other public spaces, and will take considerable time to replace. The crime was discovered the morning after, too late to save most of the plants, with some of the trees and shrubs quickly losing their leaves after being spraying with the poison. Other plants in the nursery seemed almost to fight the effects of the herbicide for a while, losing their foliage or vegetation days and even weeks after being sprayed.