I am, and always have been, a real tree lover. It pains me to see patches of forest cleared so that people can build a house or an office building. I take my son out and teach him as many species as we can see, as my parents did before me.
Trees clean the air, provide us with oxygen to breath, hold the soil in place to prevent horrible erosion, provide us with food by their fruit, provide protection from wind and sun, provide nesting places for birds, habitat for insects and other critters. I love them!
That said, this is a clear case of sickness in this individual. Also, I know not everyone values a tree as much as I do. Why is it okay for a lumber company to chop them down by the thousands, but not okay for a man to poison two? What makes them a “venerable” object? Who says that a tree in the forest isn’t loved just as much by fewer people, or by more animals?
I’d give him 6 months in the slammer to think about it, and let him be free. It was a hateful, thoughtless action that I doubt he (or others) will be repeating soon.