Mystery vandal destroys trees overlooking Quakers Hat Bay - and the hunt is on to catch the culprit.
EXCLUSIVE by ANNA USHER.
The worst case of tree vandalism in a decade has been discovered in Mosman – and the hunt is on to find the culprit.
At least three mature trees have been felled, another has been ring-barked, and several more have had branches lopped off in bushland near Bay St.
The incident, which has taken place over a number of months, is reported to be significantly worse than the tree poisoning in Joel’s Reserve in 2016, which led Council to erect a huge anti-vandalism sign.
“The incident in Quakers Hat South Bushland is the worst example of a resident destroying our natural environment for what can only be assumed as selfish reasons,” Councillor Roy Bendall told Mosman Collective.
“Mosman Council will be dusting off the huge sign used at Joel’s Reserve to inform the community that this behaviour is anti-social and unacceptable.
“I am calling on the community to report any information on this incident to Council so appropriate action can be taken.”
An on-site visit to the Quakers Hat South bushland revealed the death of two mature Banksia trees, and the felling of a 17m Angophora tree, believed to be at least 40 years old.
“The Angophora tree was massive and said to weigh about five tonnes,” Councillor Bendall said.
“It must have taken a number of hours to cut it down and we understand the incident occurred in September.”
Several other Banksia trees have suffered significant branch removal, and another Angophora was found to be ring barked.
Kate Eccles, from the Mosman Parks and Bushland Association, told Mosman Collective the tree vandalism was nothing short of “urban terrorism”.
“The Mosman Parks and Bushland Association always regrets the loss of trees, especially substantial and beautiful trees as we understand these to have been,” she said.
“We urge people to understand that the beauty and character of Mosman isn’t just about the water views, but its leafiness, its trees - and its bushland.
“These things are what make Mosman so special and different from some other harbour side suburbs.”
It is believed that Mosman Council has issued a letter to all surrounding properties and has begun door knocking residents as it builds a prosecution case.
Makeshift banners and a motion camera have also been installed on the site.
The unlawful and malicious destruction, damage or injury to trees and vegetation on community and private land comes with fines of up to $5,000,000.