An Angus woman is battling to save a beech hedge she planted 20 years ago after it was sprayed with weed killer.
The four-foot high hedge was planted and nurtured by Fiona Grieve, at her home near Kellas, but the incident, which may have been a targeted attack, has also threatened the contents of her three-acre garden.
She said: “When I started, the garden was just a field, but over the years I have planted a broad range of plants and trees.
“I planted the hedge to protect the garden because quite a lot of the plants are wind intolerant.
“For example, the acers, willow and herbaceous borders are all wind intolerant, so this incident has not just threatened the hedge, it has also threatened a lot of the garden as well.”
Ms Grieve said around 100m of the hedge had been affected, and thinks the incident was malicious.
She said: “The hedge may have been sprayed last week, as the damage is starting to show now.
“I’ve essentially ruled out the possibility that the damage was accidental.
“The hedge runs along an access road that is shared by a number of people, but only one side of the road was affected, and I get on fine with my neighbours.
“Given the amount of damage, I suspect that this could have been an industrial type of weedkiller that is a controlled substance.
“If it was sprayed on, then it might have taken just a few minutes to do with the right equipment.”
Ms Grieve hopes by going public about the damage, it will deter the perpetrator from doing it again, and encourage people to be vigilant.”
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) advises that in cases of suspected vandalism where weedkiller has been used, then taking photographs can be useful as evidence if the matter is taken further.
The RHS also advises cutting back any brown or abnormal shoots, and to promote recovery, feed and mulch damaged plants, and although weedkiller residues are difficult to test for in soil or plant material, but a report from a consultant is worth considering.
Monifieth and Sidlaw Conservative Councillor Craig Fotheringham described the incident as “despicable”.
He said: “If this was deliberate, then it truly is a despicable act, and I would urge anyone with information to come forward and report it to the authorities.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that they were aware of the incident.