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Man who felled 'door tree' says hatred of brother drove him

In this Thursday, July 18, 2019 photo, provided by David G. Johnson of the Hamden Historical Society, the damaged remains of the historic 200-year-old "Door Tree" lies on the ground, in Hamden, Conn. Connecticut authorities say the person responsible for cutting down the tree with a chainsaw on July 18 has been arrested. The historical society says the tree was first photographed in 1898. (David G. Johnson/Hamden Historical Society via AP)

HAMDEN, Conn. — Connecticut authorities say the man who cut down a distinctive 200-year-old tree told police that hatred of his brother drove him to do it.

The Door Tree in Hamden, a white oak that grew in a “distinctive doorway-like arch,” was found cut into pieces with a chainsaw on July 18.

The Hartford Courant reports that 63-year-old Curtis Pardee, of New Haven, faces criminal mischief and trespassing charges.

The Regional Water Authority owns the land where the tree stood.

Pardee told officials he cut the tree over three days in late June. He told officials he suffers from mental illness.

David Johnson, Hamden’s municipal historian, called it a “terrible act of thoughtless vandalism.”

Johnson said David Pardee, Curtis’ brother, is known as “Mr. Door Tree” because of his love for the landmark oak.

The Associated Press