Published: 09:00, 13 March 2017
| Updated: 09:42, 13 March 2017
A tree dubbed “Faversham’s greatest” has had its branches hacked off by vandals.
The 20ft Himalayan silver birch, which takes pride of place in the front garden of a house in Bramley Avenue, was chopped back while homeowner Paul Durkin was in Wales.
The 71-year-old returned from visiting his granddaughter to discover a 6ft pile of branches and debris next to the sorry-looking tree.
Now the search is on to find the people responsible for the damage.
Mr Durkin says the tree was the defining factor in him deciding to move to the house at the turn of the century.
“In my opinion, this is Faversham’s greatest tree and I have been the caretaker for it for the last 17 years,” he said.
“I returned home to find this great pile of debris and branches. You couldn’t miss it as soon as you turned the corner.
“I was shocked and upset that my tree had been hurt. It’s all very bizarre that someone would do something like this.
“If someone had an issue with the tree, they should’ve come to me first to discuss it.
“It has been damaged by vandals. I love the tree but I suppose one man’s love is another man’s hate.”
Mr Durkin had pruned the birch before he left for Wales and says a tree surgeon had inspected and approved the work.
He believes the damage has caused the tree sap to start rising, which could cause further problems.
He has sought advice from Swale Borough Council’s website but says there is a lack of information about the rules on cutting down trees, and only found the right advice on Medway Borough Council’s website.
Mr Durkin hopes whoever vandalised the tree will come forward and apologise.
He added: “I am no tree hugger but I definitely have a connection to the tree.”