THE TOP 10 MOST STOLEN PLANTS AND TREES
- Hanging baskets
- Bay trees
- Rose standards
- Olive trees
- Rare lilies
- Miniature palm trees
- Magnolia trees
- Daphne shrubs
BOB FLOWERDEW’S GUIDE TO PLANT PROTECTION
- ‘This plant belongs to…’ – The simplest deterrent is to mark all of your plants with your postcode. Use an indelible marker pen and boldly write your postcode all over plant labels (which can be concealed within the roots or the leaves before planting) containers, vases, urns and tubs.
- Chain it up! – Hanging baskets are by far the easiest target. Make their support fixing secure and difficult to undo by using wire, small bolts or even an unobtrusive lock and chain. When it comes to securing plants, a weatherproof bicycle lock attached to the containers will make life difficult for any thief. And for larger tubs and planters, a short chain or cable bolted to the container and fixed to a concreted bolt will make it impossible to remove the plants intact.
- Tug of war – Create bigger holes for your plants and carefully place layers of plastic netting within the roots as you plant them. This will make it infernally difficult to either dig or pull up!
- Go large – Large, heavy containers are more difficult to steal than smaller ones. Choose bigger planting containers and for the largest add extra weight with broken paving slabs and heavier soil-based compost.
- Be a prickly customer – Thorny and prickly plants are harder to remove and can act as a barrier to other plants. Position thorny and spiny plants and shrubs (such as Berberis, Yuccas, Briars, and Brambles) around the edges of containers, at vulnerable access points, such as low walls and fences, and around the base or up through the middle of valuable specimens.
- Take a picture – A photo of a specimen or even of bedding will aid both identification and the claim.
“As we’ve seen from recent incidents of lead being stolen from roofs, thieves are casting their nets ever wider in the search for objects to steal. And as this research unfortunately shows, garden plants and trees are now firmly on the list.
Our gardens are often a sanctuary of colour and calm, and the result of sweat, toil and no small expense. However, everything is not rosy in the gardens of Britain, with research finding that one in five gardens have been pilfered by green-fingered thieves in the last 12 months alone.GARDEN THEFT IN FULL BLOOM
The research, conducted by our Home Insurance team, found that from Kent to Cumbria, Brits are increasingly becoming victims of plant theft. Hanging baskets swiped, flower-beds uprooted, towering topiaries replaced by damp outlines and voids left where precious plants once stood proud. What’s more, according to our figures, plant theft seems to be a problem that’s getting worse every year.
From stunning rose standards to beautiful bay trees, your garden can be rich-pickings for burglars in the know, who are taking £72.21 worth of horticultural haul with each theft – proving that money does grow on trees.
The majority of thefts happen right outside our front doors, with 70% of people claiming losses of pot plants, trees and hanging baskets stolen from outside front doors. These are often used to decorate the thieves’ own gardens, sold to dealers or at car boot sales.
We asked gardening expert and broadcaster Bob Flowerdew to offer a series of handy hints and tips and help guard the gardens of Great Britain from theft.
Bob’s top tips to secure your plants and trees:
According to Janet Connor, Managing Director for MORE TH>N:
“Cultivating a beautiful garden is by no means a cheap endeavour, with many items, such as Bay trees, commanding price tags of £60 or more. But all the hard work and money spent on creating a lovely outdoor space can be ruined overnight if the garden is an easy target for thieves.”
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