Eurobodalla Council is investigating a spate of recent tree vandalism across the shire.
People poisoning or removing trees for a better view is becoming an ongoing issue, according to Council’s environmental services manager, Deb Lenson.
Vandalised trees have been identified in Sunshine Bay, Denhams Beach, Tuross Head and Dalmeny.
“Council’s role is to investigate and if we can identify an offender they may face court, be fined and required to rehabilitate the area,” Ms Lenson said.
“Illegal vegetation removal is vandalism of our environment. It costs our ratepayers, our community and our environment.”
Council’s compliance team is investigating dying trees along Dalmeny Drive, Kianga, which hold a special significance to the community.
The trees were planted in 1971 and are formally recognised as part of Dalmeny-Kianga’s Anzac Memorial Avenue.
“They form a two-kilometre pathway as a memorial to the men and women who served in the First World War,” Ms Lenson said.
“We’re seeing an increase in tree vandalism taking place on community reserves right across the shire, and it is not okay.
Ms Lenson said there has been evidence of tree poisoning and the use of electric chainsaws.
“The vandalism is often driven by a homeowner’s desire to enhance water views or gain easier access to beaches and waterways.
“The illegal removal of trees, grasses or shrubs damages the environment and affects native flora and fauna. Vegetation plays an important role in stabilising soils, reducing erosion and protecting the ecosystem.”
During rehabilitation of affected areas, Council may install tree screens and signage, with offenders wearing the expense. Ms Lenson urges witnesses to report acts of tree vandalism.
“We maintain confidentiality and encourage the community to report any suspicious activity to Council,” Ms Lenson said.
Report any acts of tree vandalism to Council rangers on 4474 1019.
Images: Eurobodalla Shire Council