Review of Council's tree policy

At Council's ordinary meeting on Tuesday night I proposed that changes to Council's Tree Policy should be made to allow a property owner to apply to have a tree inspected and considered for removal.

If and when approval is given to remove a tree, it should be replaced by a more appropriate species (to suit the needs of the tree, the size of the block of land and people

living around it); if not in the same position, then in a more suitable position.

Trees are an important part of our City and, indeed, our world. They give us oxygen, store carbon and stabilise the soil. They create an attractive look for our communities, give shade and provide homes for wildlife.

Unfortunately, these same trees can also pose hazards to residents and infrastructure, as was evidenced after the recent storms.

It is evident there are circumstances where a tree might be too close to a home or the wrong species of tree has been planted in a particular spot.

Over time the surrounding environment can change. 

We should ensure the right tree is planted in the right location and that consideration is also given to things such as leaf mess, the size of the tree, root mass, proximity

to buildings and the surrounding environment.

A review of Council's Tree Policy will identify and reflect this as well as allow property owners to have more input about the placement and species of trees on their properties.

Application fees now collected and applicable to the reviewed policy could be placed in a Greening Our City Fund and used to beautify the City by landscaping and planting appropriate species at street intersections, roundabouts and footpaths, and other suitable locations.

Trees of significance – for example historic, heritage-listed trees or threatened species – would be excluded from any new policy guidelines.

An example of trees planted close to a building.

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