Members of Red Bank’s Shade Tree Committee were horrified to discover Wednesday that all six young Japanese tree lilacs planted on Monmouth Street three years ago had been mutilated.

“Someone methodically ripped off all the lower branches” of each tree planted alongside the Station Place apartments near West Street, said member Boris Kofman.

Kofman said he did his best to cleanly prune what was left, but the attack “will definitely impact their viability,” said committee Chairwoman Remedios Quiroz. “We will have to keep a close eye on them.”

Just last week, the committee planted 11 new street trees around Red Bank, which has been designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the past decade. (Photos by Boris Kofman. Click to enlarge.)