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Police are trying to find out if a tree in Sandbanks was deliberately damaged.
The incident, in which an oak tree sustained damage at its base, happened along Sandbanks Road, near the junction with Crichel Mount Road, some time between Monday, 20 December 2010 and Tuesday, 4 January 2011.
In the interests of safety, the tree, which is protected, was later cut down by tree surgeons.
It's the latest in a string of similar incidents where its thought people have damaged tree's because they're blocking sea views or overlooking properties.
Police Constable Simon Young, of Poole police, said: “The large oak tree was very unstable when it was discovered and serious injury could have been caused had it collapsed.
“I am appealing for anyone who has any information about this incident to contact me urgently.
“I understand that the damage may have been caused by a chainsaw and it may be that someone, perhaps several people, saw or heard something unusual along Sandbanks Road some time between Monday, 20 December and Tuesday, 4 January.”
Two Poole men, aged 30 and 65, were arrested and have been arrested and released on bail while enquiries continue.
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 01202 22 22 22 quoting incident number 4:210. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.