MYSTERY surrounds the death of two Norfolk Island pines along Raglan Parade, which are set to be removed by Warrnambool City Council.
The two trees, located near the highway intersection with Japan Street, have shed a noticeable amount of foliage and become somewhat discoloured in recent weeks, despite late autumn conditions.
It is yet to be determined whether the trees were poisoned, although it is unlikely the pines would have died of natural causes given their age and location.
Warrnambool City Council’s infrastructure director Peter Robertson said it was disappointing someone may have targeted the trees, given the heritage listing over the avenue
“The two pines (look as though they) have mysteriously died,” Mr Robertson said.
“It’s possible they could have been poisoned.
“In due course they will be removed and replaced.”
The National Trust has described the Raglan Parade pine plantations as outstanding and among the better examples in Victoria.
Historians believe the plantations date back to 1903 and were officially recognised by the city council last year through a new policy focused on the preservation and upkeep of the trees.
Norfolk Island pines line Raglan Parade from Derby/Bell streets to Kelp Streets, then from Jamieson/Fairy streets to Henna/King streets and then again from Hider/Ardlie streets to the Botanic Road intersection.
Council engineers have commented previously that bitumen car parks at the base of some of the Raglan Parade pines have caused the trees to discolour during drought years, due to coverage of the root system.