Street forestry program gives suburbs the chance to turn a new leaf

Kim Treasure 18 June 2021 26
Autumn trees

Street trees are part of what makes Canberra spectacular in autumn. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

More than 1000 Canberrans across six suburbs have been given the chance to change the look of their streets as part of a pilot forestry program.

The ACT Government is empowering Canberrans to decide what types of trees are planted throughout their suburbs and streets, growing the city’s tree canopy.

Tree plantings have started in 31 streets across six suburbs, with positive results for residents and the environment alike.

“We have engaged more than 1100 Canberrans in our pilot street forestry program since it launched in March,” Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said.

“The program lets local residents decide what types of trees they want planted in their street and then supports them with information on how to care for those trees once they’re in the ground.


READ ALSO: Reading Canberra’s history through its tree leaves


“Through this program we will be planting more than 400 trees over the next couple of months. At the same time, we are learning more about what people value and prioritise about street trees and the best ways to involve residents before trees are planted.

“Streets in Bonython, Florey, Kambah, Mawson, Ngunnawal and Scullin are taking part in the first round of planting because heat mapping identified these areas would particularly benefit from more trees to help cool the neighbourhood and reduce the heat island effect.”

Feedback through the pilot indicates that nature strips tend to be the preferred location for street trees with native trees that are medium in size being particularly popular.

“Residents and community members have shown a fantastic level of engagement with the program and we’ll all be keenly following the health and growth of these newly planted trees,” Mr Steel said.

“Canberra’s green canopy is an important part of what makes our city so attractive and liveable, which is why the ACT Government has set ambitious targets for expanding it. Involving the community in where, how and what we plant is a key strategy for protecting and expanding our urban forest.”


READ ALSO: Final plan means win-win for Red Hill Nature Reserve and Federal Golf Club


The ACT Government is still considering the outcomes of this pilot program to include in broader community-driven tree planting initiatives.

People can still request a tree to be planted in selected areas following the completion of the street forestry program. For more information, click here.


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26 Responses to Street forestry program gives suburbs the chance to turn a new leaf
Stephen Matthews Stephen Matthews 4:34 pm 21 Jun 21

Anything rather than dirty gum trees

Sowmya Ram Sowmya Ram 8:08 am 20 Jun 21

Trees that are kind to allergy sufferers please.. probably a few edible fruit trees?!

Grant Grant Grant Grant 8:20 pm 19 Jun 21

Mango and banana trees

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 7:30 pm 19 Jun 21

Unfortunately street trees are not covered by the Tree Protection Act as demonstrated around Civic recently.

Rhiannon Vivian-Bolt Rhiannon Vivian-Bolt 7:11 pm 19 Jun 21

Spinning gums, bottlebrush, casuarina, silky oak. Please no Manchurian pears - they smell so awful (we had one at home in Scullin). Possibly Mulberry.

Peter Bell Peter Bell 5:56 pm 19 Jun 21

Gum trees are for the bush only. They are a stupid tree for the suburbs. They always drop limbs, as per some comments above. It will be interesting when the new ones grow up on Northbourne e and block the tram route or worse!!!

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 5:21 pm 19 Jun 21

Flowering pears, Manchurian where there's enough space, Bradford or Capital if not. Lovely shade in summer keeping the city cooler, beautiful autumn colours and glorious blossoms in spring.

Jackie White Jackie White 5:15 pm 19 Jun 21

Big European deciduous trees, like we see in the old suburbs of the inner north and south. Gorgeous providers of shade in summer, which we need, and the fallen leaves great for mulch in winter.

Ingrid Decak Ingrid Decak 3:57 pm 19 Jun 21

Nothing deciduous unless the government is prepared to do the hard slog of collecting and disposing the leaves every Autumn and pay compensation for the damage caused by huge Claret Ash tree roots threat they loved planting 20 years ago around Gungahlin.

    Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 5:18 pm 19 Jun 21

    Ingrid Decak MORE deciduous to let the light through in winter, autumn colour and blossoms. And how about the lazy home owners clear up the leaves like they used to do and mow the grass as well.

    Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 5:19 pm 19 Jun 21

    Ingrid Decak what damage? To your house?

    Ingrid Decak Ingrid Decak 6:46 pm 19 Jun 21

    Robyn Holder to our paving/driveway, neighbours driveway, lifting up the footpaths etc etc

Malcolm Macfarlane Malcolm Macfarlane 3:20 pm 19 Jun 21

I don't know what tree this is but it was planted at the front of our place a few weeks ago. no warning no choice a complete surprise.

    Ingrid Decak Ingrid Decak 3:52 pm 19 Jun 21

    Malcolm Macfarlane it looks like an ornamental pear tree - Manchurian Pear.

    Malcolm Macfarlane Malcolm Macfarlane 3:53 pm 19 Jun 21

    Ingrid Decak I hope so, I like pears

    Ingrid Decak Ingrid Decak 3:58 pm 19 Jun 21

    Malcolm Macfarlane not edible. Just ornamental.

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 4:20 pm 19 Jun 21

    Malcolm Macfarlane do you live in Florey. We got a letter informing us of a tree to be planted near our property and that it would be a gum. We rang up to seek clarification of location; it was going to be put on our nature strip and would block the access to our gates to our backyard. We said ‘no’ to that. Therefore no tree. 4 others have been put in our street though, all gum trees. Not sure there’s a consultation process but it looks like you can object

    Malcolm Macfarlane Malcolm Macfarlane 4:23 pm 19 Jun 21

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason not actually objecting though 4 houses

    Malcolm Macfarlane Malcolm Macfarlane 4:26 pm 19 Jun 21

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason not actually objecting but didn't see any notice. only 4 houses at our end of the street.

    Robyn Baer Robyn Baer 4:30 pm 19 Jun 21

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason big gum tree, a street tree, crashed into three houses yesterday. Mawson.

    John Kerry Tozer John Kerry Tozer 9:24 am 22 Jun 21

    …but safe. Very safe…!

Meg Joy Meg Joy 3:00 pm 19 Jun 21

Crepe myrtle, crabapple or ornamental prunus

Rhiannon Davis Rhiannon Davis 1:47 pm 19 Jun 21

I would like to see Kurrajongs (Brachychiton Populneus) planted.

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