CLARENCE City Council is investigating the deliberate poisoning of a prominent stand of trees at the Bellerive Bluff end of Alexandra Parade.
More than 10 trees have been affected by the flagrant act of vandalism, including a threatened species of Eucalyptus, sparking outrage amongst Landcare groups.
The trees, which are now dying, were discovered to have been drilled with holes of varying sizes for the purpose of administering poison.
Clarence City Council Mayor Alderman Doug Chipman said he was extremely disappointed to learn of the poisoning of council trees, describing the act of vandalism as callous.
“These are significant trees that have stood proudly for many decades, providing a vital habitat for numerous animal species – potentially even the rare and endangered forty-spotted pardalote,” he said.
“The affected trees are important to the beach ecosystem and without their root system helping to stabilise the sandy foreshore, the area is at risk of coastal erosion – a consequence the vandals clearly failed to understand.”
The arborist report estimates the total amenity value of the trees, which are all native species, to be $185,257.
Mayor Chipman said council would remove any unsafe dead limbs, but the tree trunks would remain in place to provide habitat for native wildlife and perching opportunities for birds that frequent the area.
“We will also be installing signs to remind people of the offence that has occurred and asking for any information that might help catch those responsible,” he said.
“Council has also developed a draft Tree Policy which seeks to put measures in place to reduce the incidence of vandalism against trees and vegetation, as well as limit the unnecessary removal of healthy trees on council land.
“Consultation on the policy opens today and we invite everyone to log on to our Your Say website to read the policy and provide their feedback.”
The draft Tree Policy can be viewed on the Your Say Clarence website at www.yoursay.ccc.tas.gov.au and is open for community consultation until 4 October 2021.
Anyone with information on this matter is urged to contact council on 03 6217 9500 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.