Redland City Council is investigating the suspected poisoning of up to 40 trees off Raby Esplanade at Ormiston.
Mayor Karen Williams said the vandalism occurred in an area of vegetation between the esplanade and the waterfront (north of Raby Esplanade Park), and appeared to have been staged over a long period of time.
“Council was contacted this week by a resident who was concerned about some dead trees along Raby Esplanade,” she said.
“When officers investigated they found holes had been drilled in the trees and it appears likely they have been poisoned.
“Our officers then looked at satellite mapping of the area which seems to indicate the vandalism may have started about October last year.
“The mapping shows dead trees located further in among the vegetation and progressively moving towards the road.
“Since June this year, two sites have started browning off further south near Julie Terrace.”
Cr Williams said trees in the northern section had been affected all the way back into the tidal area which is under the jurisdiction of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, who have been notified.
Affected trees include Casuarinas, Tuckeroos, Acacias and many Eucalypts.
Division 1 Councillor Wendy Boglary said this type of vandalism was abhorrent and impacted the whole foreshore ecosystem.
“This vegetated foreshore is a vital link within our wildlife corridors providing a source of food, for roosting and refuge, and providing nesting for natural breeding of many forms of wildlife,” Cr Boglary said.
“If not managed properly, such vandalism can destroy corridors and cause limb or whole tree failure that can also be a safety issue for pedestrians, vehicles or cyclists.
“It also increases the impact of coastal erosion which may then need costly remediation to protect adjacent infrastructure and private houses.”
Cr Williams called on Redlands Coast residents to come forward if they had any information on the damage to trees in Raby Esplanade.
“We take the vandalism of trees very seriously and anyone who is caught damaging trees can face a $667 fine,” she said.
“Council also has the option to prosecute an offender, and a Magistrate can impose a penalty of up to $6672.”
Damage to trees is also considered wilful damage, which may lead to prosecution by Queensland Police.
Anyone with information on the suspected poisoning of trees off Raby Esplanade, or anywhere else across Redlands Coast, is encouraged to contact Council on 3829 8999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.