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14 August 2020
Victoria Police and Horsham Rural City Council are investigating a spate of street tree vandalism in Horsham.
Across the past five weeks, 22 trees have been damaged to a point where they had to be removed along Natimuk Road and in Laurel Street.
Most of the destroyed eucalyptus trees were planted in 2010 and had become established after years of watering and nurturing.
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Lilly pillies planted in 2016 will have to be replaced while grey box and honey locust were other species targeted.
Council infrastructure director John Martin said Council was not only faced with the initial replanting costs, but there were years of careful maintenance ahead of parks and gardens staff to ensure the new trees survived.
“Reestablishment is more difficult as the watering program generally doesn’t accommodate for individual trees to be watered as opposed to an entire street,” Mr Martin said.
“As a result of this the trees within the street are at different stages of development and size, hence the street will no longer be in uniform,” he said.
Mayor Mark Radford called on anyone with any information about who may have carried out this senseless attack on the trees to speak to Victoria Police or Council.
“This pointless vandalism impacts on all of our community, not just Council,” Cr Radford said.
“Council’s street tree replacement program is a part of ongoing commitment to improve the streetscapes of Horsham. Some residents show pride in their street trees and even assist with watering during the hotter months. To think that someone would undo that good work and destroy a living tree is so disappointing.”
“Natimuk Road is the western gateway, this is a beautiful area of Horsham and it’s devastating to see the way these trees have been vandalised and the damage that has been caused,” he said.
People with information should contact police.