A sacred birthing tree at the centre of a Victorian highway upgrade protest has been poisoned.

An arborist has confirmed that’s what the three drill holes cut into its trunk last week were.

The tree in western Victoria is sacred to the Djab Wurrung people and the group have been fighting for four years to stop the destruction of the birthing trees as part of a major Victorian Government road project.

Major Roads Projects Victoria says the tree wasn’t in the path of the proposed route of the Western Highway duplication between Ararat and Buangor.

Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation says its hopeful the tree will survive.

Only last week, the Corporation offered a 10-thousand dollar reward for information which leads to a conviction over the vandalism of the tree with pro-highway messages.