Nut trees poisoned

Nut trees poisoned

399
One of the poisoned almond trees.

A Canning Vale mother-of-three fears for her safety after almond trees she campaigned to have removed from Ashmore Oval were deliberately poisoned last week.

Louise Formentin has a deadly nut allergy and has been targeted by vicious online trolls since she attempted to get the City of Canning to remove the almond trees three months ago.

While her pleas to the city fell on deaf ears, with Mayor Patrick Hall likening her concerns to bee-sting allergy sufferers, Ms Formentin is still attempting to resolve the issue by going through the proper channels.

So when she received a letter from the City of Canning, informing local residents the trees had been poisoned, she knew people would assume she was involved, a claim she has vigorously denied.

“When I opened that letter I became really upset and really concerned for our safety in the suburb,” she said.

“Honestly I am really worried now because it has nothing to do with me whatsoever, I’m trying to go through the appropriate legal channels and get a fair resolution.

“The problem now is because I’ve been the one that has put my name out there to at least try and warn people there are nut trees on this oval, it’s going to become a situation where I’m looked at as the perpetrator or culprit.”

While Ms Formentin realises the perception of most will be that she was somehow involved in the deliberate poisoning of the trees, she described that perception as crazy.

“Obviously the perception is I’ve done it.

“I can imagine people would assume I’m involved but that would just be stupid of me, going down the appropriate channels and then doing this.

“People already think I’m whinging about something that isn’t a big issue, but unless you have a deadly allergy you can’t understand the level of legitimate danger, so a lot of people reacted negatively.

“When almond trees are fully grown there are so many nuts that birds won’t eat them all, and when the city mow that area, they won’t be able to pick them all up, so the air will be contaminated.”

“I even offered to pay for the trees, I sent an email to Mark McGowan and cc’d City of Canning and told them I would pay for them.

“I want the local community to be happy, to help the animals and for me to be alive.”

CITY SEARCHES FOR CULPRITS

The City of Canning is asking residents around Ashmore Park in Canning Vale for their help after young almond trees in the park were poisoned.

The 30 trees were originally planted in winter to support endangered cockatoos that require an immediate increase in food source.

On Tuesday November 2021, City officers attended the site and noticed that a few of the trees had suddenly died.

On closer inspection, officers realised each of the 30 trees had a hole drilled into them and given the trees held their leaves it is likely a quick death from a herbicide.

On Friday December 3, the city distributed a letter to residents surrounding Ashmore Park, seeking assistance to understand how and why the almond trees were deliberately targeted, as no other species were seen to have been affected.

Residents were encouraged to report any information directly to the city.

Mayor Patrick Hall said the trees cost $12,780 and that if the culprit was found; they could be pursued through the courts.

“The City is responsible for the care and maintenance of all trees – pruning, removal or the deliberate act to destroy a tree by the community is not permitted and breaches the City of Canning Local Government Property and Public Places Local Law 2021,” he said.

“The Local Government Property and Places Local Law have a set penalty of $250 for this offence.

“The City may, with sufficient evidence, wish to pursue a matter like this further through the Magistrates Court.”

The City is monitoring the health of the remaining trees and will replace any that can’t be saved during next year’s planting season

The City aims to increase its tree canopy from 7.6 per cent to 9.3 per cent over the next 20 years.