Ohio Siblings are Charged with 2 Felonies for Allegedly Failing a 250-Year-Old Walnut tree

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A brother and sister in Ohio face felony charges for allegedly chopping down a massive walnut tree on protected land and selling the lumber for profit, according to authorities. 

Todd Jones, 56, Laurel Hoffman (54), are accused of illegally falling a black walnut that is more than 250-years old in a Cleveland suburb.

Two felony charges of grand theft, falsification and criminal mischief are each being brought against the two siblings. The siblings allegedly hired a crew to remove the tree and turn it into lumber. Investigators found that the wood was sold for $2,000 by them. 

The siblings told each other. The Cleveland Plain Dealer they believed the oak, estimated to be worth $28,000, was on their land.

“This is so ridiculous that they’re doing this,”Jones stated. “This is insane. There was no ill intent.” 

Black walnuts are highly prized for the high quality of their timber which is used to make fine furniture and musical instruments.

Investigators determined that the tree, which was cut down in September, was seven feet from the siblings’ property line, and was rooted in land owned by Cleveland Metroparks.

Hoffman and Jones were both charged Dec. 29. Their arraignments are scheduled for Thursday.