Ohio brother, sister charged after chopping down massive tree ‘possibly over 250 years old,’ officials say

An Ohio brother and sister are facing felony charges after being accused of working together to cut down a massive tree on public land near Cleveland – a tree that park officials believe is "possibly over 250 years old" and worth more than $28,000.
Todd Jones and Laurel Hoffman are each facing counts of grand theft and falsification following the removal of the black walnut tree in the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville last September.
In a Cleveland Metroparks police report obtained by Fox News Digital, a naturalist measured the tree’s stump to be 66 inches in diameter and 207 inches in circumference – just shy of the largest of its kind in Ohio, which are 211 and 227 inches in circumference.
"We suspect the tree was possibly over 250 years old," Jacqueline Gerling, the director of communications for Cleveland Metroparks, told Fox News Digital.
"Given our urban setting and the threats to healthy tree growth, it is very uncommon to find a black walnut of this size."
But a survey of the land determined that the "tree is question was located on Cleveland Metroparks land, 7.5 feet from Todd Jones’ property line," the officer said in the police report.
Cleveland Metroparks’ director of natural resources estimated the tree’s value to be $28,814.74.
When the logging company’s owner asked Hoffman if the property was surveyed, she "asserted that "it was all surveyed and it is our tree,’’" the officer wrote, citing statements made by the owner.
Jones allegedly was paid $2,000 by the logging company for the tree, which then sold the logs to a lumber manufacturer for just over $10,000, the police report states.
"Black walnut is one the most valuable hardwood species in North America, and is sought after for timber production," the officer said.
Meanwhile, both Jones and Hoffman reportedly are arguing they shouldn’t face charges.
"This is so ridiculous that they’re doing this," Jones told the website.