Trees have a limited lifespan, especially in urban settings.
They can damage property and infrastructure as they get older and bigger.
We manage these risks through our tree renewal program. This includes removing trees that are in poor condition, and replacing trees over time.
We renew trees:
- when they are older, or are becoming unsafe or unhealthy
- when they are performing poorly in the landscape
- to create more diversity in our parks and streets.
By renewing trees we can continue to enjoy Boroondara's green, leafy streets and parks.
Some of the benefits include:
- increased species richness that builds resilience and reduces risks to our trees
- a broader mix of tree ages to spread the need for future renewal work
- better awareness of the importance of trees in our neighbourhoods.
We engage with residents before renewing trees.
More than 75% of our street and park trees are of a mature age. This means they have reached the maximum size we can expect of them.
Many of these trees are declining. This could mean they have thinning canopies, limited new growth, dead wood or failing branches. These changes usually happen over many years.
Older trees can become stressed from:
- high temperatures and drought, caused by climate change
- mandatory pruning to meet power line clearance obligations
- damage to roots during construction works.
When older trees outgrow the spot where they were planted, they can damage infrastructure such as footpaths, drains or utilities.
Planting more diverse trees
Our streets are home to many tree varieties, but we have large numbers of the same species.
- Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
- Plane trees (Platanus species and cultivars)
- Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus).
Poor diversity in our tree population can cause trees to become vulnerable or unhealthy over time.
This can put trees at greater risk of dying from pests, diseases or climate change.
We have a few ways to renew trees, depending on the site and the state of the trees.
When renewing trees we aim to reduce the impact on streetscapes and parks.
- how suitable a tree is for the site
- how it contributes to our street amenity
- its habitat value for local wildlife
- the outcome of community consultations.
In some streets, we fill existing gaps in nature strips. We do this by planting new trees among the existing trees.
In streets with only a few declining trees, we remove and replace them. These can be the same or a different species.
We stagger large scale tree removals over 3 to 5 years:
- in streets with many declining trees
- in very long streets.