Police believe the Sycamore Gap tree stump may contain the criminal’s “chemical fingerprint.”

chemical fingerprint: Police authorities are currently focusing on the Sycamore Gap log as it potentially holds the “chemical fingerprint” of the perpetrator. It is believed that the criminal’s unique chemical signature can be found on the tree stump where the sycamore tree was cut down.

Forensic scientists are collecting samples of chainsaw oil, which is used to lubricate the chains and prevent overheating or seizing. The composition of the oil, once identified, could aid in narrowing down the specific type of chainsaw employed in the tree’s felling.

According to a source cited by The Times, it is common for farmers to save £20 by using motor oil as a substitute for chainsaw lubrication. The investigation will explore the possibility that the culprit utilized popular brands like Husqvarna or Stihl, or even a combination of both, which may yield distinctive forensic evidence.

Chemical fingerprint on a tree stump
Image: Newcastle Chronicle

The 300-year-old tree, standing at a height of 70 feet, occupied a significant gap in the hills of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. The deliberate cutting down of this tree, deemed an act of vandalism by the police, has sparked outrage nationwide. Notably, the tree gained fame for its appearance in the Hollywood film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

The police investigation remains ongoing. Officers hope to match sawdust and tree particles found on the offender’s tools or clothing to those from the felled tree. The National Trust, responsible for managing the UNESCO World Heritage site encompassing the area where the tree once stood, expressed their dismay regarding this act of vandalism.

It is believed that the police are investigating allegations related to unauthorized cutting and damage to a heritage site.

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