PENALTIES of up to $200,000 could be issued for tree damage or removal in the City of Stirling.
Stirling parks and reserves manager Ian Hunter said a witness statement or admission from the offender would be needed to enforce the fines.
“Last year, the City planted just over 4500 street trees and of the trees planted, approximately 200 were severely damaged or removed,” he said.
Fines could range from $200 for minor damage to $5000 for serious damage and an additional penalty of $500 per day could apply for continuing offences.
Penalties of up to $200,000 may apply for an individual who damages or removes a tree that is required to be retained as part of City planning approval.
All penalties and costs would be determined by the courts.
Last year, the City attempted to save a pine tree that was ringbarked at the Scarborough Beach Foreshore and employed an arborist to perform ‘bridging grafts’ along with fences and signs around the tree.
“Unfortunately, the tree did not recover from the damage that was inflicted,” Mr Hunter said.
“Should the tree have recovered it would have been retained but as it died, it was decided to remove and replace the tree.”
The City will investigate ways to reach the tree canopy target of 18 per cent overall by 2030.
The current City of Stirling canopy cover is 12.9 per cent.