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CoCT determined to catch gum tree poisoners

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

City of Cape Town officials examine a gum tree for poisoning. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town is concerned about the poisoning of gum trees in parts of the city.

Earlier this month, the city's horticulturalists carried out a site inspection in Kenilworth and confirmed that a gum tree that is 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. The city said that the poisoned tree was dying and would have to be removed.

Mayco member for Community Services and Health Zahid Badroodien said that the intentional destruction of trees was worrying.

"It indicates the lengths that those responsible will go to destroy trees that play such a vital role in the ecosystem and also the urban landscape."

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

Badroodien said that various methods of poisoning were being used, such as applying a herbicide to the soil in small pools around three trees.

Others were poisoned by full spray cover and infected by poison injected into drilled holes in the trees.

"The city views this illegal activity in a serious light and will investigate this to hold those responsible to account. We can only act swiftly if the community works with us and reports any vandalism, destruction or poisoning of our tress."