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Thief Took a 100 Pound Burl off a Tree in Watertown's Mount Auburn Cemetery

This is the second reported theft in town of the large knots that grow on the side of trees.

Someone hacked off a large knot from the side of a tree in the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown Police said, the second such burl theft reported in Watertown this year.

The theft was reported on Oct. 1 at 9:20 a.m., but cemetery staff told police they believe it occurred in late August, said Watertown Police Lt. Michael Lawn.

The large growths can be turned into bowls and sold for hundreds of dollars, Watertown Tree Warden Chris Hayward said after a recent burl theft from Arsenal Park.

The one taken from a sugar maple tree was a sizable one, Lawn said. 

"The burl weighed over 100 pounds," said Lawn, who added that the tree sits near Coolidge Hill Road in the cemetery

The thief had to climb about 12 feet off the ground to remove the burl, Lawn said.

Multiple burls were cut off a tree in Arsenal Park in September. Earlier this month, a man was caught trying to remove a burl from a tree in the Fenway with a chainsaw, but it is still not known if the man was responsible for the burl thefts in Watertown and other communities, Lawn said.

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