THE hunt is on for people poisoning trees across Dorset.

Dorset Council says it has noticed an increase in damage being caused to its trees  across the county.

A spokesman said: "On each occasion, the culprit appears to be trying to poison and kill the tree so that it will have to be removed.

"But, apart from this being illegal, there is a wider safety issue of the tree becoming unstable and either it, or its branches, failing and damaging property or even causing injury or death.

Trees have been poisoned at the following locations:

• Bincleaves Road, Gypsy Lane and Southill Estate, Weymouth

• Court Orchard Road, Bridport

• Woodroffe Meadow, Lyme Regis

• Noake Road, Sherborne

• Coventry Close, Corfe Mullen

• Birchwood Drive, Alderholt

• Churchill Close, Sturminster Marshall

• Phillips Road, Blandford.

Dorset Police have been informed of all the locations where such vandalism has been found and they and the council will monitor these sites for further activity.

The spokesman added: "If you have any information which would assist us in our investigations, then please contact the council at We will not make your personal details known.

"Anybody caught deliberately damaging council trees will be taken to court where they are likely to receive a large fine and could be subject to a criminal record."

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “This indiscriminate and selfish action is putting others at risk. It’s one thing to attempt to kill a healthy tree for personal benefit, but quite another to endanger people and property while doing so.

"There must be local residents who have seen and/or can identify the culprits and we would welcome any information which would enable us to pursue prosecutions.”