‘A tree is worth more than gold,’ says man ticketed for spraying Naperville tree to protect it

Asher Thomas, who’s in the Coast Guard, faces a $225 fine for ‘altering flora.’ He plans to ask a judge to dismiss the ticket for ‘good Samaritan’ reasons.

Thomas is accused of “altering flora” and was ticketed by Forest Preserve police with a $225 fine.

Thomas is accused of “altering flora” and was ticketed by Forest Preserve police with a $225 fine.

Anthony Schalk / Forest Preserve District of Will County

A man who said he sprayed trees at a dog park in Naperville to protect them after an anxious dog chewed off the bark has been ticketed for “altering flora.”

Asher Thomas’s ticket from the Will County Forest Preserve carries a $225 fine.

“Just as you can’t go around doing things to other people’s property, even if intentions are good, you can’t allow your dogs to do damage or spray a foreign substance on trees,” said Dave Barrios, the forest preserves’ deputy police chief.

Thomas said he regularly takes his dog Dixie to Whalon Lake Dog Park and learned that a German shepherd had gnawed away the bark on more than a dozen trees. So he said he used a can of tree pruning sealer to cover the wounds.

“The whole purpose was to prevent trees from being lost,” said Thomas, who works for the Coast Guard. “What if I saved the trees? What if the other nine I did not spray died, and the ones I treated lived?”

He said a “tree is worth more than gold” in Colorado, his native state.

Thomas said he’ll ask a judge to dismiss the ticket for “good Samaritan” reasons.

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