News

Urban Forest Update

14 December 2018

Urban Forest

A healthy urban forest is considered to be the most cost effective way of addressing the urban heat island (UHI) effect, a trend that results in cities being up to 8°C hotter than surrounding rural areas. Mitigating the UHI effect and building climate change resilience is extremely important in light of the fact that heat waves kill more Australians than any other natural disaster.

The City of Melville is continuing to implement our Urban Forest Strategy, adopted in 2017 including Part A: City Controlled Land which was developed to address the loss of tree canopy coverage that has occurred throughout Perth since the mid 1990’s.

This year the City planted 1537 trees on residential verges, in parks, the Point Walter Precinct and throughout our streetscapes. This figure exceeds the goal of 1300 tree installations for the 2018 winter period.

Tree tags have been developed to inform residents of the species installed on their verge which also provides tips on how to care for their tree.

Promotion of the Verge Tree program resulted in a substantial increase of verge tree requests for 2019.

Next year the City will look at utilising smaller tree stock in 30-45L pots rather than large trees. Not only are smaller trees known to have better survival rates and are safer to handle, they are also more cost effective, resulting in the City being able to install more trees.

Traditionally trees have been valued for their aesthetic value only with tree lined streets and recreational areas viewed as desirable place to live and gather in. As with many local governments and land managers, the City of Melville has reviewed their tree valuation methods to value trees holistically for their economic, environmental and social benefits.

The unlawful pruning of trees on City owned land, including verges is quite common, with the main reason provided being that residents believe the tree is theirs to manage. The truth is, all trees located on City verges are City owned and managed, regardless of who originally planted the tree. The consequence for unauthorised pruning or removal of a verge tree is a fine of $500 as per the local government act.

In April 2019 the City will be holding workshops on climate change adaption gardening. These workshops will be run by Sabrina Hahn, the host of ABC radios gardening program, Roots and Shoots and local gardening goddess.

For further information about our urban forest contact Amy Warner, Urban Forest Education and Engagement Officer on amy.warner@melville.wa.gov.au or for general information relating to the verge tree program and tree maintenance contact melinfo@melville.wa.gov.au or by phone on 9364 0666