Poisoned trees have been identified by Dorset Council in a number of locations in Dorset including Coventry Close in Corfe Mullen, Birchwood Drive in Alderholt and Churchill Close in Sturminster Marshall.
On each occasion, the culprit appears to be trying to kill the tree so that it will have to be removed. But, apart from this being illegal, there is a wider safety issue of the tree becoming unstable and either it, or its branches, failing and damaging property or even causing injury or death.
Dorset Police have been informed of all the locations where such vandalism has been found and they and the council will monitor these sites for further activity.
Anyone who has information which would assist in investigations should contact the council at firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal details will not be made known.
Anybody caught deliberately damaging council trees will be taken to court where they are likely to receive a large fine and could be subject to a criminal record.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “This indiscriminate and selfish action is putting others at risk. It’s one thing to attempt to kill a healthy tree for personal benefit, but quite another to endanger people and property while doing so.
“There must be local residents who have seen and/or can identify the culprits and we would welcome any information which would enable us to pursue prosecutions.”
Trees have also been poisoned in Blandford, Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Regis, and Sherborne.
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