More than 2,000 Christmas trees are to be sold off at an auction in NSW, after a string of tree thefts across the state.
More than 1,000 of the trees are at the Fairfield Estate, which is the biggest private collection in the state, and more than 400 are at a nearby farm.
One of the property’s owners, Peter Harkes, said the thefts were due to poor communication between the gardener and the owners of the land where the trees were located.
Mr Harkles said he had no idea where the stolen trees came from, and had not been able to contact the owners for over two weeks.
Mr Adams, the gardening manager at Fairfield, said he would be asking the owner of the farm where the tree was located to return it to the garder.
Mr Fairfield said it was a “serious offence” to keep trees on private land, and he would work with the owner to find a way of selling the trees.
Mr Andrews, the NSW Government’s rural affairs minister, said all the trees that were stolen were in the Fairfields estate, and would be sold to pay for a fence to be put in place around the property.
“There are many, many trees that are in the fairfield estate that are of very high value, and I can’t afford to keep them all on the estate,” he said.
The NSW Government has set up a taskforce to help enforce a law that prohibits the sale of tree trunks or branches. “
The owner of that farm has to take responsibility for their trees.”
The NSW Government has set up a taskforce to help enforce a law that prohibits the sale of tree trunks or branches.
Photo: Supplied “The gardener is the only person responsible for the trees, so there’s a real responsibility on the gardiner and the gardaí and I will work with that farmer to get them returned to the owner,” Mr Andrews said.
The state government said it would ask the NSW Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to inspect the property to make sure there were no issues with the trees being stored on private property.
Photo by Steve Morris “It will take time, but the gardai will work closely with the owners to make that happen,” he added.
“This is an area where we have an enormous amount of work to do, and we will be working closely with our partners in the NSW department of agriculture and fisheries and the owner.”
“I would encourage people who have been left without a Christmas tree to get it back, it’s a very sentimental item, and the tree is very sentimental, and so is this gardener’s property,” Mr Harns said.
Photo via Fairfield.