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The City of Cape Town has asked residents to come forward with any information about the malicious poisoning of trees in parts of the city.

A large gum tree in Wessels Road, Kenilworth, was poisoned earlier this month. It was planted almost 100 years ago.

The tree, which forms part of the historical landscape of Kenilworth, will have to be removed.

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

The City's Zahid Badroodien says a criminal case has been opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Badroodien, the mayco member for community services and health, says herbicide is typically sprayed on the trees or poured at the base of the trees.

He explains that historical trees have been targeted as well as trees in residential areas.

Officials suspect that many of the cases are linked to disputes or unresolved complaints about nuisance trees encroaching on residential property.

However, Badroodie has warned residents that taking the law into their own hands is illegal.

It's historical large trees which have been planted almost 100 years ago... and on the other hand, we have trees in residential areas that have also been poisoned by, one would assume, the residents in the area.

Zahid Badroodien, MayCo member for Community Services and Health - City of Cape Town

In residential areas, trees are sometimes seen as a nuisance in terms of the branch coverage of a particular property and the leaves that fall in the road and properties as well.

Zahid Badroodien, MayCo member for Community Services and Health - City of Cape Town

He's called on residents to report any suspicious activity.

No one has been arrested. My plea is to the residents in these areas. If anyone has seen any activity that they may find suspicious, please report it immediately.

Zahid Badroodien, MayCo member for Community Services and Health - City of Cape Town

Members of the public who may have any information on the poising of trees can send an email to the City Arborist at arborist@capetown.gov.za.

Residents can also call the City’s emergency number by phoning 107 from a landline, or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.

Alternatively, they can report the matter to SAPS where a case has been opened by officials.

Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : City pleads for info that could help catch gum tree poisoners

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