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Leave street trees alone

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January 10, 2018

Replacing vandalised street trees in Shepparton can cost Greater Shepparton City Council between $15000 and $20000 a year.

Replacing vandalised street trees in Shepparton can cost Greater Shepparton City Council between $15000 and $20000 a year.

The council is hoping to plant 1500 trees each year as part of its urban forest strategy.

But each year, some 60 to 80 trees are vandalised, making up about five per cent of all new tree plantings.

Council’s parks, sport and recreation manager Heath Chasemore said generally street trees cost $250 to replace, including maintenance needed until established.

However, in central business district locations additional costs existed, relating to more advanced tree stock, services and other infrastructure to work around.

‘‘We do lose a small percentage of trees to vandalism each year — roughly five per cent,’’ he said.

Mr Chasemore said the strategy aimed to improve awareness of the benefits of trees.

The council was disappointed this week after a second wilga tree was damaged along Vaughan St, Shepparton, in what has been called a senseless act of vandalism.

Ratepayers would need to foot the bill to repair the damage.

Mr Chasemore said it was the second incident of damage to trees in this shopping precinct recently.

‘‘This behaviour by a limited number of individuals shows little or no regard for our community and is extremely disappointing,’’ Mr Chasemore said.

‘‘Wilga trees are hard to propagate and slow growing, however we have had great success with this species in our Vaughan St precinct, where they have prospered and provide great aesthetic appeal to the streetscape as part of our urban forest strategy.

‘‘The cost of replacing trees and dealing with senseless vandalism ultimately is borne by the ratepayers.’’

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