A pair of trees in front of a recently painted mural on York and 25th streets were removed Thursday, although it’s unclear exactly why — and by whom.

“The residents of York Street are heartbroken that two street trees were illegally removed today from York St at 25th,” Ben Glenn, who lives down the street from the trees, wrote in an e-mail.

It’s illegal to remove trees from San Francisco streets without authorization.

Glenn said in an interview that he came home at around 7 p.m. yesterday to find a man in his late 30s “hacking away” at the stump of an already chopped-down tree.

He said the man then rode away on bicycle, and that much of the debris from the two trees had already been stuffed into a green compost bin. As Glenn took photos of the defaced trees, he said, a man in his 60s came out of the house and said that one of the trees was dead. Questioned further, the man went back into his home, Glenn said. Glenn said he sent an email to Calle 24, and received a response from Moisés García, corridor manager at Calle 24. 

“It’s my understanding that Richard Segovia requested the tree removal to improve the view of the mural,” Garcia said. “Calle 24 did not want to see the trees removed and I’m not sure how he was able to get the trees removed, as that usually requires a public process.”

The trees partially blocked a new mural, and 25th and York streets will be the site of the “Latin Rock Stage” as part of the Fiesta De Las Americas block party Sunday.

The mural, painted on Segovia’s house, is a tribute to the local Latin rock scene.

A call placed to the San Francisco Department of Public Works was not immediately returned. 

Street view from Google when there were trees and no mural.

Detritus of trees. Photo by Ben Glenn.

Photo by Ben Glenn.