Stringybarks poisoned at Merimbula property

The faded colour of Ms Akkerman's stringybark tree from the bottom of Sapphire Cres.
The faded colour of Ms Akkerman's stringybark tree from the bottom of Sapphire Cres.

Wanda Akkerman is devastated.

The Merimbula resident has started planning how she will remove the crowns from 25 stringybark trees at her Woodland Dr property after a tree poison attack.

“I noticed the change in colour about a month ago, then there was a carpet of dead brown and green leaves,” Ms Akkerman said.

“Two tree surgeons came out to inspect the trees. One said it was the worst act he’d seen in 22 years.”

The view from Ms Akkerman's deck looking out over the water. The stringbarks to the left are dying.

The view from Ms Akkerman's deck looking out over the water. The stringbarks to the left are dying.

Some of the trees are more than 70 years old and extend to eight storeys high.

“The trees created a micro climate, allowing the growth of semi-tropical plants that all thrived in the rich shade the canopy once provided,” Ms Akkerman said.

“Without the shade many of these plants may not survive.That canopy was also overlooked by three other neighbours and all of them enjoyed the rich bird life and animals that made it their home.

“The canopy is now dead and the birds, the possums and sugar gliders have all left.”

Ms Akkerman’s daughter was also planning to have her wedding ceremony in the garden in January, but might have to rethink her plans.

Arborist Andrew Norman said the death of the trees was consistent with toxic shock.

“The necrosis of the foliage is evidence that suggests a poison has been used and the analysis of soil samples will identify that poison was used,” he said.

Wanda Akkerman

Wanda Akkerman

The devastation to Ms Akkerman’s property is not isolated, with neighbours starting to notice similar tree poisoning on their properties four weeks ago.

The news comes after two similar events in the local area earlier this year.

In May a number of trees, including a large Banksia, Casuarina and Melaleuca, were hacked and poisoned in Tura Beach.

The following month eight semi-mature Coastal Mahogany trees were drilled and poisoned at the southern end of Merimbula’s Ford Park.