RESIDENTS living in Dundrum have expressed their anger after a much-loved tall, old tree that visually dominated their cul-de-sac was allegedly sabotaged.
Larry Byrne, the chairman of the Ashlawn Residents’ Association, contacted Southside People recently to highlight his belief that someone intentionally poisoned the old cedar tree in the estate.
Mr Byrne said that several months ago neighbours began to notice that the tree was deteriorating and subsequently began to shed its pines.
Then a local gardener informed residents that he believed the tree had been poisoned because a number of holes had been drilled into its base.
Mr Byrne revealed that the tree eventually died and was felled recently, despite the efforts of staff from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who responded to calls from residents about the matter.
“The council came out and investigated it,” he said. “They couldn’t really do anything as the damage had already been done.
“One of the neighbour’s sons is a gardener and he believes it was poisoned because holes were drilled into it. That is a process people in the horticultural business use to kill a tree.
“People were absolutely shocked when they found out,” he added. “It was quite depressing and people didn’t want to talk about it because we were hoping that it might survive.”
In addition, he said locals believe the tree, which had made a lasting impression on residents, was very old.
“We think the tree might have been planted around the time that Ballinteer Lodge was built,” he explained. “We think it was about 150-years-old. It was probably about 40 or 50 feet tall. It was quite impressive.”
A spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it was investigating the matter.
"We can confirm that the mature cedar tree growing within the footpath at Ashlawn was noted during an inspection to have small holes drilled around its base,” the spokesperson said. “The tree subsequently declined in condition and unfortunately had to be removed, despite the best efforts of the council to retain it.
“The council is keen to take further action against whoever committed this act of vandalism and investigations are continuing.”