About 100 tree burls have been illegally removed from the Jamieson area, forest management authorities have said.
Forest Fire Management Victoria is asking for help to track down those responsible for damaging trees in the Upper Goulburn State Forest.
Goulburn District manager Lucas Russell said someone deliberately removed the burls between late December and early January.
Mr Russell said burls formed from defects on trees and were prized by woodworkers for making feature pieces such as bowls or sculptures.
‘‘Often these pieces are sold for hundreds of dollars,’’ he said.
He said the removal of burls could seriously damage the trees and impact on habitat for native animals.
He said the removal would have been carefully planned.
‘‘Considerable effort has gone into the removal of the burls, which in some cases could have included the use of a ladder, chainsaw and trailer,’’ he said.
‘‘Information such as vehicle make, model, colour or a registration plate would be extremely helpful, and can be provided anonymously.’’
Mr Russell said people buying intricate woodwork pieces, especially online or through social media sale groups, should ensure the wood had come from sustainable sources.
He said it was an offence under the Forests Act 1958 to damage any tree or plant or be in possession of any forest produce without having been authorised to remove it.
Anyone found guilty of such offences could face a maximum of $7773 fine or 12 months’ imprisonment.
Anyone with information should phone the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Mansfield office on 57731200 or the Customer Service Centre on 136186.
Information provided will be treated confidentially.