A woman has been captured allegedly breaking off the centre branch of an established Frangipani tree in the front yard of a Mosman home.
Images of the brazen blonde, wearing dark jeans, a black top and sneakers were captured around 11:25am on Friday 3 November, showing parts of the exotic flowering plant being loaded into the boot of a white Lexus.
The centre branch of a Kirkoswald Ave frangipani tree was placed into a white Lexus on Friday 3 November.
The mature tree sits at the front gate of a Kirkoswald Ave residence, surrounded by flowering Jasmine and with a Jacaranda tree nearby.
“I am appalled by the brazen actions of this person, who broke off a large part of my tree and then loaded it into her car,” the home owner told Mosman Collective.
“I feel violated. This type of vandalism, the destruction of private property, is appalling and needs to be called out.
“The standard we walk past is the standard we accept, and this terrible behaviour will not be tolerated by me or my neighbours.”
Scott Dooley, owner of Footprint Gardens, says the large, established frangipani branch could be worth up to $500 retail.
Local gardener Scott Dooley from Footprint Gardens said the tree could be up to 15 years old, with the large branch worth up to $500 on the black market.
“People have been stealing plants from local gardens for a while,” he said, “mainly succulents and frangipani cuttings.”
“And it’s really poor form for someone to do this – especially in broad daylight.
“The branch could easily be propagated and sold for a decent amount of money.”
“I feel violated and this type of vandalism, the destruction of private property, is appalling and needs to be called out,” the Kirkoswald Ave home owner says.
Mr Dooley, who has 100 clients across the lower north shore, said the Kirkoswald Ave frangipani – shaded pink – was a rare variety which may have attracted the attention of the Mosman plant plucker.
“It makes me very upset because that branch could have taken ten years to grow,” he said.
“The tree will take time to recover, and the pink frangipani’s grow more slowly than the white ones.”
The damaged frangipani tree is located on Kirkoswald Ave in Mosman. Image: Supplied.
While it may not seem obvious, stealing plants and cuttings is against the law.
In NSW, according to section 520 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), there is a maximum penalty of up to six months imprisonment, or a fine of $550, or both, where a person is caught stealing, destroying, or damaging with intent to steal, any plant, root, fruit, or vegetable produce, growing in any garden, orchard, pleasure-ground, nursery-ground, hothouse, greenhouse, or conservatory.