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Luke Coughlan, John Sheely and Paul Lamb in front of the effected tree

Witnesses sought after Norfolk Pine vandalised

News Article Date: 
Friday, 15 January 2021

One of Warrnambool’s iconic Norfolk Island pines has been vandalised, with the tree unlikely to recover.

The tree is part of an avenue of Norfolk Island pines on Nicholson Street in the city’s inner east and is believed to be between 80 and 100 years old.

More than 20 holes have been drilled into the base of the 25m tree, with the discolouration on the bark around the holes indicating that a chemical is likely to have been administered, according to Council’s expert staff.

Warrnambool City Council Manager Infrastructure Services Luke Coughlan said that despite its fate most likely being sealed, the tree would remain in place for now.

“There was originally a gas leak on the site, and we noticed that the tree was suffering,” Mr Coughlan said.

“The gas leak was repaired, but at that time we noticed a couple of drill holes in the trunk of the tree.

“We continued to monitor the health of the tree, and have just discovered a large number of freshly drilled holes at the tree’s base.

“The tree is continuing to deteriorate, and when it dies, we don’t necessarily have to remove it.

“Generally Norfolk pines stay structurally sound but it is something that we need to monitor.”

Mr Coughlan urged anyone who may have seen anyone appearing to work at the base of the tree to contact Council.

“Council invests significantly in trees to beautify the city, and our trees are something that the wider community takes a lot of pride in," he said.

“So to see this wilful act of destruction is very disappointing.”

Anyone with any information can contact Council on 5559 4800.


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