Father devastated by theft of bonsai

Barry Nobbs (front) and his son, Greg, have had about $5000 worth of bonsai trees stolen. Picture: DAVE TEASEBarry Nobbs’s first bonsai was a stunning Port Jackson fig, bought with funds pooled by his four children for Father’s Day, and resplendent for the past 12 years on its own table in his Primbee backyard.

He read bonsai books until he knew all its secrets – when to feed and water; how to strip the leaves, prune the foliage and trim the roots once a year so the tree would stay small but fulsome.

He nurtured it all those years, not knowing that the care and attention would one day end with theft, that the fussed-over little tree would just vanish.

The fig was one of an estimated 25 bonsai taken from Mr Nobbs’s collection of about 300 on Sunday night.

The stolen trees were mostly figs, popular for their wildly gnarled, exposed roots. There were also at least two junipers, a pine, a crepe myrtle and an exquisite crab apple that was in full bloom and capable of producing tiny, edible apples.

‘‘It was just the fascination,’’ Mr Nobbs said, holding his fingers a few centimetres from his thumb.

‘‘You buy them that big and then you watch them grow. I’m devastated.’’

Mr Nobbs and his wife, Marie, believe a number of thieves

parked a car near their back fence and passed the hefty potted trees to one another.

They fear the theft was provoked by their recent advertisement, using a sign near the property, that trees were for sale. At 72, retired plasterer Mr Nobbs had hoped to start reducing the time he spent on the trees’ upkeep, but he said he would never have parted with that first special fig. That tree would never have been sold.

Police are keen to hear from anyone with further information about the incident.

They can contacted via Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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