23 June 2015

Dogs blamed for stripped bark

A spate of damage to city-centre street trees is causing great concern to Brighton & Hove City Council’s arboriculture officers and the public.
More than a dozen young trees appear to have been targeted on and around St James Street, Victoria Gardens and North Street, Hove. The trees have had large tears ripped into their trunks and are marked by what officers believe to be bite marks from a dog.

“There are what appear to be teeth marks across the grain of affected trees near to the ground at the height where you would expect the head of a dog would be,“ said Ian Brewster, arboriculture manager for the council. “There is also stripping of bark from the ground up the main stem with damage occurring to approximately 1.5m, as if a dog had pulled the detached bark to that height.”

As many as 20 trees in the area have been affected, which has prompted tree officers to place a protective wire mesh around some of the more vulnerable trees to prevent further harm being done.

Bark prevents trees from drying out and becoming infected with a disease. Without this protective layer trees will die.

The damaged trees may recover, but those that have been affected significantly are likely to die within a short period of time.

Brighton & Hove City Council would like to encourage people to report any similar acts of damage and to hear from anyone that might have any more information. The Council is working with the police to identify possible offenders and anyone found to be responsible is likely to face prosecution.

Please email arboriculture@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 292929.