Farm­ers on trail of mys­tery tree feller

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

A to­tara tree that had stood for at least 50 years was cut down with­out per­mis­sion on Lans­downe Rd in Wa­haroa last week.

It ap­pears the of­fend­ers used a key to gain ac­cess through a Rangeview Speed­way gate some time be­tween the morn­ing of Tues­day, April 24 and An­zac Day.

The na­tive tree was on the prop­erty of farmer Keith Buck­ley who said it was there when he bought the land 50 years ago.

‘‘I’m a bit an­noyed they didn’t ask for per­mis­sion. No-one has come and asked me if they can cut it down,’’ said Mr Buck­ley.

The tree had been cut down with a chain­saw and the branches had been cut up and neatly stacked into three piles. Tyre tracks sug­gested that a trailer load of wood had been taken.

Mr Buck­ley’s son Kevin said they sus­pected it was cut down for fire­wood and that the cul­prit had planned to re­turn for the rest.

‘‘Why else would they stack it all up like that? The thing is, if they had just asked for per­mis­sion we prob­a­bly would have let them cut down an­other tree on the prop­erty. They didn’t need to cut down one of our na­tives.’’

The in­ci­dent has been re­ported to the po­lice and the of­fender could be charged with wil­ful dam­age and face a fine. Mr Buck­ley is ask­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion to con­tact po­lice on 888 7117.

Mys­tery: Kevin and Keith Buck­ley are ap­peal­ing for in­for­ma­tion on who cut down a to­tara tree on their prop­erty.

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