'Swamp Man' Shelby Stanga Busted for Felony Botanical Violence

10/12/2014 12:35 AM PDT

'Swamp Man' Shelby Stanga -- Busted for Felony Botanical Violence

EXCLUSIVE

Shelby "Swamp Man" Stanga -- one of reality TV's biggest bad ass loggers -- got a little carried away with his ax, and ended up getting busted for murder ... of a neighbor's tree.

Stanga was arrested and hauled off to jail down on the bayou this week for allegedly cutting down a cypress tree 3 years ago. Problem is the tree was standing in a swamp on his neighbor's property.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office tells us Stanga -- star of "Ax Men" and his own spinoff -- was nabbed Monday. There's been a felony warrant out for his arrest since he took down the tree. He was released the same day, and now faces a felony theft charge.

We haven't been able to contact Stanga. Mobile phone service just ain't great in the swamp.

FUN FACT: The bald cypress has been Louisiana's official state tree since 1963.