By Alex Fees
St. Charles County (KSDK) - There's a midnight pruner on the loose in New Town, near St. Charles.
Property management officials there confirm that over the course of the past week or so, somebody has been trimming, or pruning, trees that line the streets of this well-maintained housing development.
In fact, Friday morning New Town crews picked-up six trailer loads of branches and limbs trimmed since Thursday night. New Town Senior Property Manager Lisa Galati said it's not a laughing matter. Galati said the unauthorized tree-trimming constitutes property damage and trespassing.
Galati said it's happened on different streets within New Town, twice on Galt House, once on Civic Green, and once on Woolen Mill.
Galati said anyone with information is asked to call New Town or St. Charles Police.
Residents don't think it's quite so serious.
"That's weird," said Karen Strunk, a New Town resident for six months. "This one could use it," she said, referring to a tree visible from her front porch. "The one next door to me."
Perhaps the midnight pruner is an unemployed, insomniac landscaper.
"Or somebody who works the late night shift," said New Town resident John King, "and then gets home at three or four o'clock in the morning, decides I got nothing to do, so maybe I'll walk around with a pruner."
King wondered if it's happening out of a practical consideration.
"In taking a look at it I guess they're taking off what would be the suckers, the low branches," said King.
But Galati said New Town arborists tell her due to the recent heat, this is not the time to trim your trees, or your neighbors' trees.
St. Charles County resident Kris Sontheimer and her daughter Jessica walk their dogs on the tree-lined streets of New Town. They had not heard about the break-out of unauthorized landscaping.
"Well it seems like a strange thing to do in the middle of the night," joked Sontheimer. "There could be worse things that could happen than getting your trees trimmed for free."