Five trees at two different town properties -- two of them planted in memory of a deceased daughter -- were cut down by vandals last week.

Three trees were cut at Lake Mohegan and two flowering pears, valued at $600 a piece, were axed at High Ridge Park, Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, a Fairfield police spokesman, said Monday.

"The manner in which they were cut is consistent with both locations," she said of the vandalism.

Tree Warden Ken Placko said a hand saw was used to cut nearly all the way through the trees and then the vandals pushed the trees over.

High Ridge Park, Placko said, is a neighborhood park and one "would have to know the neighborhood to know the park's even there."

The trees cut down at High Ridge were trees planted by parents in memory of their daughter who died, and the trees targeted at Lake Mohegan had been planted last spring. They were planted in two traffic islands as a way to mitigate storm water runoff from the south side of the lot into the lake.

The damage to trees Fairfield comes a few months after outrage over "girdling" -- or deep cuts -- in the trunks of more than a dozen trees that lined St. Mary's by the Sea, a scenic park in Bridgeport's Black Rock neighborhood overlooking Fairfield.

Placko said whoever struck the Bridgeport sycamores is likely not the same person, or people, who vandalized Fairfield's trees last week, since a chainsaw was used in the Bridgeport incident.

"I think it's an attention-getter," he said when asked about the motivation for killing the trees, "someone looking for attention."

He added, "It's definitely malicious in nature and a lack of understanding and appreciation on how trees work and function and what they mean to other people."

Lt. James Perez, a Fairfield police spokesman, added, "Here you have trees that were meant to help with the aesthetics of the park and make it a place of comfort and enjoyment, and someone has sought to destroy that tranquil feeling."

Perez said it could be someone's way of "leaving their mark" or "sending a message," but either way, "it is unacceptable behavior and can lead to criminal charges if caught."

While five trees have been cut down, the vandals cannot claim victory.

"We're going to replant them," Placko said.