Forestry in South Africa
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March : City of Cape Town slams 'malicious' poisoning of gum trees

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24 February, 2020

City of Cape Town slams 'malicious' poisoning of gum trees

City of Cape Town slams 'malicious' poisoning of gum trees
Ten gum trees have been intentionally poisoned in the City of Cape Town
since October. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


The City of Cape Town has slammed the "malicious" poisoning of a tenth gum tree since October. A large gum in Wessels Road, Kenilworth, was the latest tree to be poisoned. 

Earlier this month, the city's horticulturalists carried out a site inspection in Kenilworth and confirmed that a gum tree that was between 75 and 100 years-old had been poisoned. 

"Several holes were drilled around the base of the tree and a herbicide injected into the holes, leaving a blue stain. It is estimated that the tree could be measuring 25m in height and is 16m in width. The poisoned gum tree is dying and will have to be removed before it becomes a danger to the surroundings," said the city. 

Gum trees, from the Eucalyptus species, were planted throughout Kenilworth. The same trees were widely planted throughout the Western Cape as street and park trees. At the time, they were popular and used to provide timber and firewood. 

Gum trees grow fast, are drought resistant, offer shade and protection from the wind.

"The intentional destruction of trees is worrying as it indicates the lengths some will go to, to destroy trees that play such a vital role in the eco-system and urban landscape," said councillor Zahid Badroodien. 

He said the city viewed the poisonings in a serious light and would investigate the matter to ensure the perpetrators were held accountable. 

In October 2019, nine gum trees along Racecourse Road in Durbanville were targeted.

Source: IOL