Vandals have severely damaged several heritage trees in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, including the Separation Tree, which had been previously attacked in 2010.
Three trees have been ringbarked, including a 400 year old river red gum, the Separation Tree, and a tree planted by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Australia in 1954. Gardens staff discovered the damage on Saturday morning (July 20, 2013)
Director of the Melbourne Gardens Tim Entwisle said that several other trees also have machete or axe marks on them.
“I was quite shocked and really outraged that someone could target these really important, distinguished trees in the gardens,” he said.
“It’s quite unbelievable. Why someone would do this, how someone would do it?
“It’s hard to understand and incredibly hard to forgive.”
Gardens staff are hopeful that all of the trees can be saved.
GardenDrum blogger James Beattie wrote in February 2012 about the grafting work being done to save the Separation Tree in Uniting the Separation Tree from the damage inflicted on it in 2010.
So shocking and sad that this could happen again to such a venerable tree, and also that this new damage comes only a few months after the attack on the Garden’s cactus collection.