Tree Strategy

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West Torrens has more than 50,000 trees in its streets and parks and each year we plant around 1,500 new trees.

In order to help our area remain leafy and green and to build upon what we have already planted, Council has adopted a Tree Strategy that outlines what we wish to achieve in the coming years and how we are going to do this.

Our Tree Strategy

  • Provides clarity about Council's role and vision in tree management.
  • Assists with planning for new trees.
  • Outlines key objectives and actions for the ongoing management of trees in our area.
  • Establishes a clear pathway to manage processes, tree-based queries and decisions through sound arboricultural practices.

You can read our tree strategy online which includes our Tree Management Policy.

Four objectives of strategy

Objective 1 - protect the existing urban forest

Protect against further unnecessary tree loss caused by urban infill by documenting the existing trees in the Council area and appropriately planning for new tree planting.

Action Time Frame
1.1 Undertake a full tree audit of Council owned trees. From the audit:
  1. develop an electronic tree management program
  2. develop precinct masterplans to guide future tree planting in streets and parks, based on desired neighbourhood character and open space/recreation strategies and plans, while not impacting upon high activity areas such as kick-a-bout spaces
  3. identify key streets and parks where the age/condition of trees may require action for tree replacement
  4. prioritise streets, parks and other locations for:
    • additional tree planting
    • tree management
  5. identify biodiversity and species gaps and potential impact of climate change on existing trees.
1.2 Require all development applications affecting the public realm to accurately indicate the location and detail of existing trees/vegetation on public land.
1.3 Review and improve our costing/valuation method relating to proposals for street tree removals associated with development applications.
1.4 Prioritise tree management and planting along existing and potential biodiversity corridors and areas identified as 'hot spots' through urban heat island mapping.
1.5 Design infrastructure projects, where possible, to facilitate the retention of existing healthy trees, additional tree planting and the healthy growth of the trees.
1.6 Identify and protect trees with historic or cultural significance (on both public and private land) through the preparation of a Development Plan Amendment or amendment to the Planning and Design Code.
1.7 Identify, protect and effectively manage significant and regulated trees.
1.8 Through education and negotiation with applicants:
  1. minimise loss of medium/large healthy trees on both private and public land as part of urban infill projects through the development assessment process
  2. aim to ensure that, following redevelopment in new infill housing developments and subdivisions, that there is at least one street tree remaining or planted in the verge per property.
1.9 Investigate the potential for an incentive scheme to assist with the preservation costs of significant and regulated trees on private properties.

 

Indicators

Green: 1 -3 years

Orange: 3- 5 years

Blue: 5 - 7 years

Objective 2 - expand the urban forest canopy cover comprising a diverse species mix

Help mitigate the impacts of urban infill, a changing climate and the heat island effect by increasing the overall canopy cover in the Council area. This canopy should comprise a broad mix of tree species in order to promote biodiversity, sustainability and increase amenity in the urban landscape.

Action Time Frame
2.1 Develop a Tree Planting and Replacement Plan that:
  1. increases the total number of trees in public areas (ie achieves an annual net gain taking into account of trees planted and trees removed)
  2. prioritises increased planting in Council managed areas that have low tree canopy coverage and where gaps exist in streetscapes or parks
  3. identifies opportunities to plant trees on Council owned and managed land
  4. achieves species diversity
  5. considers appropriate tree species that are tolerant to a changing climate and soil conditions
  6. implements, monitors and documents trials of new species
  7. includes an 'Adopt a tree' program that encourages residents to help water and maintain healthy growth of street trees, particularly in drier seasons and during early establishment.
2.2 Develop a tree planting assessment table and checklist to assist in the selection of tree species for application in the public realm and to inform the Tree Planting and Replacement Plan.
2.3 Develop annual Streetscape and Park Renewal Plans that implement the overall Councilwide Tree Planting and Replacement Plan.
2.4 Develop a 'Plant and Enjoy' program to encourage tree planting in private front and rear gardens. Such a 'tree giveaway' program may see Council give each new home owner in a new dwelling a suitable tree to plant in their garden area.

 

Indicators

Green: 1 -3 years

Orange: 3- 5 years

Blue: 5 - 7 years

Objective 3 - improve the health and growing conditions of the urban forest

Support the longevity of the urban forest and other Council assets by utilising innovative construction and planting techniques that consider the lifespan of built and green infrastructure. Maintain the urban forest and their assets appropriately.

Action Time Frame
3.1 Develop and implement tree planting and construction guidelines for Council projects based on Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and that assist with:
  1. addressing existing stormwater drainage problems in streets and parks
  2. promoting tree and root growth
  3. minimising the impacts on built infrastructure and services.
3.2 Develop a Tree Maintenance Plan to guide the ongoing maintenance of street trees and trees in parks.
3.3 Incorporate landscape/streetscape design opportunities for additional street tree planting in street upgrade initiatives.
3.4 Develop and implement a Tree Risk Assessment procedure applicable to public areas to minimise the risk to public safety.

 

Indicators

Green: 1 -3 years

Orange: 3- 5 years

Blue: 5 - 7 years

Objective 4 - inform and engage with the community and stakeholders to help develop Council's urban forest initiatives

Inform and promote the actions being undertaken by Council to create a sustainable urban forest, increasing public knowledge of the benefits of trees, their management and impact on community wellbeing.

Action Time Frame
4.1 Prepare Precinct Masterplans to identify locations where planting of additional trees will have maximum health benefits to residents, including:
  1. key walking routes
  2. adjacent health/aged care precincts
  3. adjacent childcare/educational facilities (while not impacting kick-a-bout play areas).
4.2 Continue to provide information and resources through the Council's website (eg about current tree programs, community planting days, development assessment information).
4.3 When undertaking major planting projects, consult with relevant stakeholders and the community.
4.4 Promote the benefits of trees (including trees in private gardens) and the importance of sustainability/conservation/biodiversity/being water wise to the community through education and school programs including community planting days.
4.5 Trial the planting of fruit and nut trees in parks for community harvesting.

 

Indicators

Green: 1 -3 years

Orange: 3- 5 years

Blue: 5 - 7 years