Eighty-four-year-old Paul Brugger has waived his preliminary hearing on the criminal mischief charges. They are felonies because the value of the trees, about $15,000, exceeds $5,000.
Brugger's attorney is not commenting on what might happen next.
Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk says he'll consider ending the case before trial, under certain conditions he isn't yet spelling out.
Brugger allegedly damaged the trees by slicing them with a chain saw. That damage cuts off the flow of nutrients to the tree, usually killing it within a few years.