A box tree believed to be more than 100-years-old which was stolen from outside a house in Gretton, Northamptonshire, before Christmas has been found, returned and replanted. An appeal for information was launched after the tree, which has a 4ft circumference, was taken sometime between 11pm on Tuesday, December 22, and 10am the following day.
It is one of two trees which are decorated as Christmas puddings every year for people to enjoy.
Owner Martin McEvoy said: “Two days before Christmas the two box hedges were dressed as Christmas puddings, which we do every year.
They were covered with white linen with red baubles on top.
But the day before Christmas Eve, they were vandalised.
“The linen was torn off and the baubles ripped off .
The following night, the tree had been ripped out of the ground and taken.”
The stolen tree was found abandoned on Tuesday January 5 on the road to Harringworth alongside equipment which may have been used to rip it out of the ground.
Mr McEvoy said: “I originally thought someone had taken it to sell or to plant it.
“But I think it was a vindictive act. It was put back in by a professional gardener who said it should recover.
It was needless and vindictive, but it’s back now.”
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Tyre tracks were left in the garden when the tree was taken so it is believed a 4X4 vehicle may have been used by the thieves.