THE Swansea tree chopper mystery has taken a bizarre twist, with newly-planted pines found along the promenade.
Around half a dozen of the evergreens have materialised at the same location as the nine or so trees that were felled or hacked near the Blackpill skate ramp.
And in another development, Swansea Council workers have discovered damage to a 50 foot silver maple right by the promenade, opposite Llwynderw Drive in West Cross.
Council chiefs believe the culprit or culprits may have been disturbed, as the damage does not warrant the felling of the maple.
Overnight on Monday, a 45ft ash was targeted and left with a couple of inches of intact trunk, leaving it in danger of crashing to the ground in a moderate wind.
The authorities are currently at a loss to explain the vandalism, but would like the public's help in apprehending those responsible.
Mumbles Tourist Information Centre manager Sue Butler condemned the culprits for damaging arguably Swansea's finest stretch of foreshore.
"We think it's appalling," she said. "We can't believe someone is doing it. This is an iconic view."
Referring to the damage to the silver maple, a council spokesman said: "It may well have been that whoever started cutting away was disturbed before they could do too much damage."
He added: "We need the public's help to catch whoever is responsible for this spree of mindless vandalism. It's not an overstatement to suggest their actions are endangering lives because the trees are being left hanging over popular spots with pedestrians and cyclists.
"We're being forced to cut them down because they could topple over at any point. We'd urge anyone with information to contact the police."
He added: "If anyone wants to plant trees on our land, we'd ask them to contact us first so we consider their request and give advice."
Mayals councillor Linda Tyler-Lloyd said she felt the culprit or culprits needed help.
She has condemned the vandalism.
"It's sad that people have to be so destructive," she said.
Self-styled Post reader tawse57 wrote on Evening Post website www.thisissouthwales.co.uk that something similar happened in Dorset a while back, resulting in a conviction. "I hope the police take this crime as seriously as the police in Dorset took it and that they find and prosecute this person or persons," they said.
Another dismayed resident, Janet Joseph, who spotted the damage while walking her dog, said she could not understand why anybody would want to destroy the trees.
If you can help, phone police on 101.