Some of the rarest pine trees in the United States appear to be under attack in Solana Beach.
Two San Diego County homeowners say someone has been tampering with the endangered Torrey Pines in their front yards, drilling holes in the trees that they fear are being filled with poison.
“I was actually working in the yard here, and I saw two new holes and they had corks in them,” Gary Coad said.
The Torrey Pine is endangered and only grows naturally in San Diego County.
“That's part of the reason why we bought the house in the first place, because it had this beautiful tree on it,” Coad explained.
The Solana Beach man says the tree has been having problems since the holes first appeared. He’s already spent more than $1,000 to save it.
Richard Hendlin, who lives right across the street, says someone has drilled holes in his Torrey Pine, too.
“This part of my tree is turning brown and starting to die right now,” Hendlin said, pointing to the decay. “I’m hopeful the tree will survive.”
The two Torrey Pines sit on a hillside within a mile of the beach. Coad fears his tree could have fallen victim to "someone who doesn't like it in their view who would like a place that doesn't have nice trees."
Coad and his neighbors are offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible. Crime Stoppers is also offering an additional $1,000.
Anyone with information can call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers.