Mosman canopy clearing hurts habitat


Tree vandalism in Mosman.

Mosman Council is on the hunt for those responsible for illegally damaging 11 semi-mature and mature trees on public land.

Council staff recently found significant unauthorised tree pruning and felling had taken place within Kahibah North and Amaroo Road Reserves.

This included the clipping or cutting down of several native trees, including four Eucalyptus, two Casuarina, a Lilly Pilly, an Evergreen Alder, a Tree Fern, a Christmas Bush and a Banksia. 

Tree vandalism of this scale can result in fines of up to $5 million and a criminal conviction.

Council says evidence suggests the works were ‘advantageous’, likely to enhance water views.

It revealed surrounding residents have confirmed the loppers went door-to-door after the incident, asking if neighbours also wanted tree works completed.

“The manner in which the works were conducted, in that all debris were strewn onto Council land, indicates that the persons responsible had little regard for the area,” Council officers said. 

Council believes the amount of canopy destroyed has resulted in a ‘significant reduction’ to the native habitat which will likely take years to be re-established. 

While no one has been prosecuted at this stage, Council staff are conducting formal interviews with nearby residents to source more information.

Council will also install a custom-made tree banner in the vicinity of the cut down trees, warning of the penalties for lopping trees on public land.

“I urge residents to advise Council of any suspected cases as Mosman Council takes tree vandalism very seriously and has a number of options at its disposal ranging from issuing Penalty Infringement Notices to prosecuting anyone involved in illegally damaging trees to the full extent of the law,” Mayor Carolyn Corrigan told North Shore Living.

“Council staff have launched a thorough investigation into this significant illegal damage to public trees and will continue to monitor and act if incidents are observed or notifications are received.”

The tree vandalism is believed to have occurred between 4 and 7 December, 2020. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Mosman Council on 9978 4000. 

Stephanie Aikins

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