SISTER BAY – With evidence of last September’s vandalism still visible, Seaquist Orchards is moving forward.
“Everyone’s kind of anxious to get that behind us,” said owner Jim Seaquist.
Seaquist says in the middle of the night of September 19, 2013, the tops of 639 year-old cherry trees were cut off. His orchard is four miles north of Sister Bay on Highway 42.
Workers are planting in another part of the orchard this week. They will soon plant new trees where parts of the destroyed ones still stand.
“It will probably take us a couple days with a crew of ten to get those replaced,” said Seaquist.
Replacing the trees will cost about $20,000. It’s not covered by insurance.
The trees that are just being planted are several inches shorter and a bit thinner than the trees that are supposed to still be growing from last year.
Door County Investigator Connie Schuster says the case is still open.
“We did get a lot of tips,” said Schuster. “We talked to a lot of people. We weren’t, however, able to gather enough information to charge anyone with this crime.”
Schuster says in 31 years of working in Door County, she had never seen vandalism like what occurred at Seaquist Orchards.
“Not at all,” she said. “It’s very senseless. There’s no reason to do anything like that.”
Seaquist has installed some new security cameras.
“Everyone’s watching closer now,” he said. “But you can’t watch every minute.”
He’s grateful for the support people across the state have shown his family’s business.
“We’ve really just seen the outpouring of the community,” said Seaquist.
Seaquist and the Door County Sheriff’s Department are each offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
If you have information, you can call the sheriff’s department at (920) 746-2400.