Vandals have been blamed for causing damage to around 16 trees at Laurelhill College at the weekend.
Principal James Martin described the attack to the mature ash, horse chestnut and beech trees as a case of ‘sheer wanton destruction.’
The attack occurred at trees planted on an open area of the ECO garden sometime between Saturday and Sunday morning.
The maturing trees which were around seven feet tall were uprooted, many had damage caused to the trunks while others had branches pulled down.
They were among 120 trees planted by the pupils in the past three years as part of their ECO friendly project.
Mr Martin said that it would have taken quite a bit of effort to have caused such damage.
“This is a wilful act of vandalism,” he said. “It has left us all quite deflated. It is such a sickening attack and is both surprising and sickening.
“It would have taken quite a bit of effort to pull them like this.
“Whoever carried out this attack are not linked to the school. They must have been folks outside the school.”
He said that their ECO club had put quite a lot of effort in the environment side of the school.
“Our school, does not suffer from vandalism,” Mr Martin said. “This has taken us all by a bit of surprise.
“Pupils had worked so hard planting the trees and they put a lot of effort into the environment, and now this.”
He feared that it will take months for the trees to be replaced.
“It is a wanton act of destruction,” he said. “There was no need or reason for this type of behaviour. It will take a lot to replace them.
“We are having the attack surveyed by the Education Board at the moment.
“We are not going to give up on our ECO plans and we are looking to replace them and we will need to put a plan in place to do that.
“It is our intention to replace them but when that will happen I don’t know.”