More information has emerged about the Belmore Basin tree vandalism which has shocked Wollongong, and it points to view improvements as being a likely motive.
There has been an outpouring of sadness and fury after the long-established tea trees were attacked on Wednesday night, and police and Wollongong City Council are calling for anyone with information to come forward.
People have been sharing memories of how they played on those trees when they were children, with parts of the bark being worn smooth from play.
The crime was done with a mechanical cutter, likely on a pole, as some cuts were more than 3m off the ground.
Late on Friday a council spokeswoman said there had been additional tree vandalism discovered nearby.
"As part of council's ongoing investigation today we've uncovered fresh vandalism to an adjacent fig tree with six low-lying branches removed," she said.
The council spokeswoman said the trees would be given every chance to survive, a more optimistic approach than the previous day when it was said they may be unable to be saved.
Coast tea trees are a hardy species which can recover from significant pruning, but these ones have taken a heavy blow.
"Branches were sawn off, using a handheld mechanical device not believed to be a chainsaw, with only their trunks left behind," the spokeswoman said.
"There has been a significant outcry about the damage done to these trees and we ask anyone with information to come forward - to either Council or NSW Police - and share what they know.
"Council is working closely with NSW Police to investigate the incident by reviewing the CCTV footage of the area. Council is also calling for residents and members of the public to get in contact with either council or NSW Police to share what they know about the vandalism.
"These trees are a much-loved part of the area and a local attraction for generations of children, families and photographers.
"Our staff will keep the area cordoned off around the two trees to give them every opportunity to survive. We ask that our community stay out of the cordoned area."
There were few, if any, CCTV cameras there, while only a small number of properties would benefit from a clearer view of the water.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.