Investigations underway for poisoned trees
Mitchell Shire Council Officers are investigating several cases of mature street trees being poisoned in Broadford, Seymour and Wallan.
The damage caused by the acts of vandalism is extensive. Trees are being tested to understand their condition. Unfortunately, in most cases it is not possible to save the trees and the costs associated with their removal will exceed $15,000 of ratepayer funds due to their size.
Damaged trees cause a significant loss of amenity, significant environmental impacts to the surrounding area and are a risk to the public due to their rapidly declining health. There is also risk of unknown poisons being used.
There are additional costs associated with the subsequent tree removal in re-establishing the landscape through re-plantings. In most cases poisoned trees will be replaced as close as possible to the removal site to ensure the landscape is reinstated adequately.
Council will have no hesitation in prosecuting offenders. There are significant fines and additional costs for reinstatement may also be recovered by Council.
Council’s long-term strategy is to increase canopy cover within the Shire, which supports the need to retain large existing trees wherever possible. Council recognises the need for increased tree planting within streets and parks.
Council is working with Council Arboriculture Victoria who are always investigating ways to mitigate the poisoning of trees, with a focus on education around the benefits of trees.
Anyone with any information regarding poisoned trees are encouraged to contact Council on 03 5734 6200.
“It beggars belief that we have environmental vandals in our Shire who wish to destroy the very reason people want to call Mitchell home - our outdoor environment. We simply can’t afford to lose tree canopy unnecessarily in the era of a changing climate,” he said.
“There is absolutely no excuse for this behaviour and while it is often very hard to establish a case in these circumstances, the community can be assured our staff are doing what they can to prosecute offenders. The communities can assist in stopping this vandalism by advising Council if you notice anything suspicious.
“Surely as a community we have a responsibility to take pride in our place. Council goes to great effort to give the community a sense of pride by providing street trees. We all play a part in keeping our place keen and green. This latest case of vandalism is very sad.”
This page was last updated on 6 March 2020.