Tree vandals put on notice

Monday, 12 July 2021

Residents are urged to report any suspected damage to trees, as the City rolls out another expansive planting program.

The City will plant more than 2500 trees across Greater Geelong this year, as part of a commitment to create a cooler, greener region.

New signage is being installed in areas impacted by tree vandalism, to inform the community about the wilful damage and to act as a deterrent to future incidents.

Cr Anthony Aitken, Chair of the City Works, Parks and Gardens portfolio said the signage initiative aimed to reduce the number of attacks on the City’s tree population.

“Trees are a highly valuable asset and any deliberate vandalism of them impacts on the wider community,” Cr Aitken said.

“We would like the community’s help in protecting our trees and would appreciate any information in relation to attacks on them.

“Trees are defenceless members of our community, especially newly planted ones. Please love and keep an eye out for our trees and help them grow.”

The first of the signs has been installed at St Helen’s Reserve, Rippleside, where two trees were poisoned earlier this year.

Forty-three trees were planted in the reserve in 2020, with the City overseeing the community-led project that was supported by a federal government grant.

The City is seeking information relating to the illegal activity and will pursue prosecution against any offender/s.

As part of the Sustainability Framework Action Plan, we are committed to planting more trees and creating more opportunities for community planting.

There are also actions aimed at increasing sustainability by protecting the environment, building community wellbeing and social equity, and practicing responsible and transparent business.

The Urban Forest Strategy has a centrepiece target of improving Geelong's tree canopy cover from 14 per cent to 25 per cent over a thirty-year period.

Cr Eddy Kontelj said the environmental, social and health benefits of a vibrant urban tree population were huge.

“Our trees provide shade, cool our public areas and improve the feel and liveability of the region,” Cr Kontelj said.

“We want to create a larger and more diverse tree network to improve canopy cover in our streets, open spaces and reserves.

“In addition, it is not OK or acceptable for anyone to be vandalising property or assets, whether they belong to a community member, or they are publicly owned.”

Please report any suspicious activity regarding trees to 5272 5272.

Page last updated: Monday, 4 October 2021