6 November 2020

Family believes machinery was used to steal 20-year-old trees from front yard

| Hannah Sparks
Join the conversation
Pencil trees in the front yard of the Bonython home

Two of three 20-year-old pencil pine trees have been stolen from a Bonython family’s home. Photo: Supplied.

A Canberra family is asking members of the public to help catch the thieves who took trees that were planted in their front yard 20 years ago.

The Bonython couple – who wished to remain anonymous – is missing two of three pencil pine trees that were pruned into spirals next to their driveway.

They believe the trees were stolen while they were at work on Thursday (5 November).

Two trees were stolen

The family believes the thieves used machinery to steal the trees.

Their neighbours were at home on Thursday, however, no one saw the trees being taken.

The couple’s daughter, Diana, said her father planted the trees when she and her siblings were children and that the family was “heartbroken”.

“Our garden used to be nothing at all and my parents landscaped everything themselves … with their own hands, blood and sweat,” Diana said.

“It was raining, so it’s as if the person knew the soil would be softer and no one would be outside or looking outside.”

The family expected to find the trees nearby if they were stolen by children, which is exactly what happened to the family several years ago.

READ ALSO ACT set to continue going it alone on building quality

“If it was just kids, they would have pulled it out, had their fun and chucked it around the corner. I think it was someone who wants to sell the trees and make a bit of money or someone who wanted them for their own backyard,” Diana said.

The family also believes that the trees were taken with machinery because the roots would be well-established after 20 years.

“Where the trees were taken was left looking quite clean, so we suspect they were towed out or someone used a shovel. I don’t think they would have been taken by hand, it would have been too hard,” Diana said.

The trees are around 1.8 to 2 metres high.

The family can’t put a dollar value on the trees but is saddened by the amount of time and care they put into the trees for them only to be stolen.

“Now when you drive into the driveway, you see they’re gone,” Diana said.

The family is urging anyone who knows anything about the missing trees to contact police.

They have reported the trees as missing to police and are monitoring buy, swap and sell Facebook pages in case someone tries to sell the trees.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
russianafroman12:05 am 07 Nov 20

These aren’t gardeners doing this. These are trans-state thieves selling these things for thousands across the country. Impossible to trace, very easy to take and very easy to flip. If you have nice trees out the front of your house that are easy to nab, please install security cameras and catch these pieces of work. No doubt it is one or two guys with some old van grabbing them and running off across state with equivalent thousands and thousands of dollars. They get rich while your garden becomes barren.

russianafroman12:02 am 07 Nov 20

Important to note how expensive those shaped trees are. They can go for thousands. So much work, time and effort goes into growing them. These people have items worth thousands sat in their front yard unguarded. It definitely seems that thieves are wising up to this fact and how much money there is in this.

Why bother having valuable trees and plants in the front yard anymore? Not only is it akin to showing off, they are vulnerable to being stolen. Though it doesn’t happen often, for many years, I have observed through the sheer curtain of the front window, people off all ages trespassing and stealing flowers and fruit trees without permission.

“Showing off!” You think it’s showing off to take pride and put work into the garden ?! Only someone who is not willing to do this, would think this “Showing off.”

russianafroman12:00 am 07 Nov 20

I wouldn’t say having nice trees is akin to showing off. I don’t think we’re in such dire straits yet to suggest people can’t have trees.

It’s more about being circumspect. I have the valuable and ornamental aesthetic plants in the back garden for taking pride in the garden and work.

It’s called topiary.

Capital Retro8:03 pm 06 Nov 20

Isn’t there a computer game called “Grand Theft Topiary”?

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.