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Government to plant 17,000 more trees over next four years

Ian Bushnell 11 June 2019 54
street trees

Canberra’s street trees are vital in limiting the effects of our increasingly warm summers. File photo. 

The ACT Government will plant 17,000 more trees across the city over the next four years, with the focus on areas with low canopy cover and where trees are ageing.

The measure announced in the Budget is less than the 7000 trees a year over the next decade the Greens say are needed to maintain and restore the city’s urban forest.

But the Government is calling it the largest program of tree planting this century, saying an Urban Forest Strategy will also be developed within 12 months, which will set out a pathway to meet canopy targets and build the resilience of Canberra’s green canopy.

The Budget papers say the tree planting measure is attached to a program for more bins at local shops, with the total cost amounting to $9 million, with only $338,000 in 2019-20, but increasing to $2 million in 2020-21, $3.1 million in 2021-22 and $3.7 million in 2022-23.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said the Government would also be looking to fill in gaps in the existing tree canopy cover in suburbs which are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

“We will also begin a large-scale tree propagation program at the Government’s nursery at Yarralumla and engage and involve the community in this substantial planting program,” he said.

“This is the largest program of tree planting this century, to renew and enhance Canberra’s tree canopy. Trees play a big role in the lives of Canberrans, keeping our streets up to 10 degrees cooler in summer, and help us to adapt to climate change.”

Greens Planning spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur has said street and park trees in the ACT’s established suburbs were declining by around 3000 a year, and that the current tree planting program was not keeping up, with many trees been lost to age, development and the Millenium Drought.

She has also called for planning rules to be changed to allow more space for trees around developments.

The Government manages over 766,000 public trees in streets and urban open spaces.

It will also release its Climate Change Strategy in coming months.


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55 Responses to Government to plant 17,000 more trees over next four years
Lesley Fisk Lesley Fisk 11:13 pm 12 Jun 19

Great to plant more trees -it can never be enough - but it’s useless in our climate without a programmed watering program built in as part of the cost.

Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 10:34 pm 12 Jun 19

Which is all very nice but if we light the city up like daylight with all the new LED street lamps going in then it defeats the purpose of it all. This will disrupt wildlife and sleep.

Trees are great but blue / white LED street lamps undo it all.

    Carole Ford Carole Ford 8:21 am 13 Jun 19

    I don't agree, the new LED lights are very effective helping older drivers feel saver driving at night. You need to try drive around the older suburbs of Griffith, Narrabundah, Ainslie, Reid etc to see that the older streetlights are completely useless.

    Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 10:51 am 13 Jun 19

    Carole Ford I disagree as does mounting scientific research in to the adverse effects bright white and blue LED city lights are having on human health and wildlife. There are also adverse cultural effects. Our modern obsession with flooding our lives with bright light is ruining health and culture. Genuine night time is not only physically healthy, but also mentally healthy. It's part of our existence and we are banishing half of what makes us human and constitutes life. Whole generations have now never seen stars in their life.

    We have night time for a reason.

    Communites around the world are now regretting their eternal daylight and some cities are even winding it back.

    Even in homes blue light is causing issues, ruining kids and everyone's sleep etc.

    https://theconversation.com/amp/american-medical-association-warns-of-health-and-safety-problems-from-white-led-streetlights-61191#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/27/ama-issues-warning-about-energy-efficient-led-streetlights/

    https://globalnews.ca/news/4122605/led-street-lights-eyesight-health-effects/

    https://edition-m.cnn.com/2016/06/21/health/led-streetlights-ama/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/04/nights-are-getting-brighter-earth-paying-the-price-light-pollution-dark-skies/

    https://relay.nationalgeographic.com/proxy/distribution/public/amp/2017/11/light-pollution-energy-LED-bulbs-spd

    Ray Atkin Ray Atkin 11:36 am 15 Jun 19

    Ian McLeod, agreed. See Australasian Science, Vol 40, No. 3, May/June 2019, p 33, by Kyra Xavia, "LED lights may harm your health".

    Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 12:42 pm 15 Jun 19

    Ray Atkin sure does and it's unnatural at night, it confuses wildlife and our body clocks by mimicking daylight.

Steve Wood Steve Wood 10:06 pm 12 Jun 19

Is that what we are calling those monstrosities beginning to plague Belconnen and Gungahlin..

Sally Tang Sally Tang 8:52 pm 12 Jun 19

30,000 per year is actually what is needed

liberalsocialist 7:59 pm 12 Jun 19

Can we get rid of the ridiculous idea that Australian native's are any good? They take ages to grow, offer sparse canopies, drop branches once grown, have no Autumn magic... they're ugly. Please stop this notion from the holier-than-thou branch that implies that if anyone says anything bad about our natives then they must not want to live here. Tired of that.

In the meantime - and even this article's head photo shows it - the nicest streets are those lined with beautiful deciduous trees that grow quickly and have a rich, dark green foliage. But the few righteous people will claim that's un-Australian to point out.

Nicole McGuire Nicole McGuire 7:40 pm 12 Jun 19

Still short of the estimated requirement by two thirds.

Christine Jack Christine Jack 6:37 pm 12 Jun 19

Yes but they are planting gumtrees - really. Should not be in suburbs

    Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 10:35 pm 12 Jun 19

    Christine Jack agreed.. Must be better trees they can plant.

Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 6:14 pm 12 Jun 19

I hope their not natives.

Dave Miles Dave Miles 5:40 pm 12 Jun 19

Clare, maybe our ugly, deformed and half-dead tree will be replaced??

Adrian Gab Adrian Gab 4:07 pm 12 Jun 19

Hopefully they will put a ton in Wright and Denman Prospect.

bigred 3:37 pm 12 Jun 19

I just cannot fathom how they will get this done effectively after presiding over mass degradation of the urban forest over there two decades in charge. But if they do, it will mean the general population will need to behave and pretty much adopt their local plantings, rather than compacting the soil through parking their overflow SUVS in the root zone, or just ripping the new trees out due to some wiring fault in the individual's brain.

Tom Porter Tom Porter 1:08 pm 12 Jun 19

Tree replacement should be q condition of all housing development applications. Developers should be required to plant appropriate trees as part of their projects.

Daryl Moore Daryl Moore 12:58 pm 12 Jun 19

Not under power lines

    Malcolm Campbell Malcolm Campbell 8:42 pm 12 Jun 19

    Daryl Moore too right

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 1:17 pm 13 Jun 19

    I have finally discovered a reason to like power lines. They stop a neighbour from letting his trees grow too big and shade my garden, because he needs to prune them to keep them clear of the power lines. Now, I wish another neighbour had to do so the same. An impenetrable wall of conifers maybe three storeys high.

Julia Ross Julia Ross 12:36 pm 12 Jun 19

It will be interesting to see how many of these trees survive. Unfortunately in Canberra as soon as something is planted or installed it is destroyed. Andrew Barr had already said that there has been loads of trees planted, but as soon as they're planted, they're destroyed.

Malcolm Campbell Malcolm Campbell 11:29 am 12 Jun 19

Good. Now while you’re at it get federal government to plant 17 million trees around the country and we the people will all be happier

Adam Hughes Adam Hughes 11:03 am 12 Jun 19

Canberrans complain that they want more trees and not infrastructure.

Planting of trees gets announced: Canberrans complain about the types of trees.

Next they will complain about the location of the trees 😂😂

    Shan Gao Shan Gao 12:45 pm 12 Jun 19

    Don’t forget the leaves. These trees drops too much leaves on the ground in winter. Also the free green bins won’t be big enough to fill them so we need bigger green bins. But that means more public expenditure so higher rates. I’m trying to cover as much ground here as possible to save efforts for others. Please help me.

    Shaun Dreyer Shaun Dreyer 3:22 pm 12 Jun 19

    Adam Hughes they better not be too green. Probably will be tho, stupid government

    Zac Dgs Zac Dgs 4:08 pm 12 Jun 19

    Shan Gao was your green bin free?

    Matt Clark Matt Clark 4:14 pm 12 Jun 19

    Adam Hughes who’s ever complained there isn’t enough trees here??

Tim Mak Tim Mak 10:56 am 12 Jun 19

Restore the bush to the bush capital!

Helen Po Yi Gray Helen Po Yi Gray 10:52 am 12 Jun 19

More pine trees would be nice and maples also.

    Dave Shelling Dave Shelling 11:25 am 12 Jun 19

    Helen Po Yi Gray no more pine trees. Seriously. They aren't native and they burn. Pines caused the Canberra firestorm.

    Reneé Nelson Reneé Nelson 9:59 pm 12 Jun 19

    That's interesting because of the multiple articles including the CSIRO investigation state that while pines burned during the fires, the fires started in bushland in NSW. Yes pines burnt fast but so did most of the house plants and other dry vegetation that was around houses.

    Natives do not necessarily mean better and if it's my street I would take some nice oaks over eucalyptus any day.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 1:13 pm 13 Jun 19

    Please, not pine trees, they shade houses even worse than gum trees and don't drop leaves.

    Troy Reeves Troy Reeves 6:00 pm 13 Jun 19

    Reneé Nelson Canberra definitely doesn’t have enough drab gum trees shedding their bark everywhere. Best thing about being back in Qld is green grass & many different coloured plants! Canberra is a depressing desert.

    Helen Po Yi Gray Helen Po Yi Gray 6:03 pm 13 Jun 19

    Actually gum trees are evolved to burn naturally they love to catch fire that’s how they spread their tree population.

    Helen Po Yi Gray Helen Po Yi Gray 6:04 pm 13 Jun 19

    https://www.livescience.com/40583-australia-wildfires-eucalyptus-trees-bushfires.html

Jill Howell Jill Howell 10:47 am 12 Jun 19

It seems to me that most of the newer suburbs don’t have enough space on the verges to plant large shady trees. I grew up in Forrest and the trees there had room to spread. However, I am glad that the government has decided to do something about the declining urban forest, although it may be too little too late.

Sue Elliott Sue Elliott 10:37 am 12 Jun 19

Just no more gums close to homes please.... sick of sweeping the leaves up.

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