Murder of old trees 'horrifying'

AN apparent crime of hate has puzzled and angered Burringbar residents.

An unknown person or persons, seemingly with a hatred for large trees, has used a power drill and poison to kill two native hoop pines and a giant old Moreton Bay Fig in the centre of the village.

A Tweed Shire Council spokesperson yesterday said the three dying trees would most likely need to be cut down and removed.

Doug Clarke, co-owner of the Burringbar General Store, said the low act had shocked the town.

“We are horrified,” he said.

“We don't know why it has happened. I just can't see why anyone would do it.

“The only thing you could think of it someone is getting their view blocked, but that's not the case. There are no ocean views here.

“There was a line of trees for the old ANZAC Day marches. They used to march between the trees but they haven't done that for a long time. Now they march down the road.”

Some people have suggested the holes - for pouring poison directly into the large trunks of the trees - must have been drilled three to four weeks ago, but Mr Clarke disagreed.

“I noticed three or four months ago that the top of one tree was dying,” he said.

An inspection by the council's parks supervisor Paul Fahy last week found the fig had lost the majority of its leaves and had some signs of regrowth flush, which were consistent with signs of stress.

The pines were also dying back from the top and due to their age.

Mr Fahy said he expected a constant decline in their health, which would mean they would eventually need to be removed.

The council's recreation services manager, Stewart Brawley, said the deliberate attack on the significant trees was outrageous.

“These trees are assets to the broader community, which have been part of the village streetscape for many years,” Mr Brawley said.

“We will vigorously pursue prosecution against anyone found to have carried out this act of vandalism.”

Mr Brawley said a drill or similar tool was used to make several holes at the base of trees.

Anyone with information on the vandalism to the trees is asked to contact the council's Recreation Services Unit on (02) 6670 2615.

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