"wanton destruction of trees," 1853, from Latin arbor "tree" + ending from suicide, etc. Meaning "one who wantonly cuts down trees" is from 1873. Related: Arboricidal (1865).
Arboricide is a crime, as well as homicide. The name of Gastrell, who cut down Shakspeare's mulberry tree, is justly followed by the execrations of posterity, and hangs forever on a gibbet of reproach, vainly craving the boon of oblivion. ["New England Farmer," March 1853]