GUST highlights benefits of trees in tight spaces
The Grow Urban Shade Trees group is calling for greater education about the benefits of trees "especially in tight spaces" and for the council to "take a pro-active role".
The call follows their attendance at a meeting between representatives of the University of Technology Sydney and local government on the topic of "research into urban greening for a changing climate".
"A recent public survey indicated that generally people are aware of the benefits of trees but are frightened about impacts on infrastructure and property," said group member Ms Jen Wilder.
"More community education is needed.
"It is more important than ever to educate the community about the benefits of trees, even and especially in tight spaces."
Ms Wilder said: "It was heartening to, yet again, be reminded that the provision of shade trees in urban environments is a highly-valuable science-backed practice worthy of significant investment by government.
"One thing is for certain - the right tree, strategically planted, has enormous long term benefits for a community.
"For the biggest bang for buck, plant a large tree, preferably on the northern or western side of a hot sealed surface.
"A medium to tall tree is eight times more beneficial than a small tree.
"The benefits include that larger canopy trees preserve roads by protecting them from sun exposure.
"It pays to invest in larger, high quality stock, ensuring it is planted into enough deep soil for the roots to spread over time, stabilising the tree for years to come.
"Formative pruning is also very helpful to create the most effective shape for shading, and a gentle tease and prune of the root ball when planting will encourage strong outward root growth.
"The first three to five years are vitally important for a new tree.
"Regular watering is paramount."
Ms Wilder said: "Recent studies show that leaf litter, including as mulch, is a great thing for biodiversity.
"In a nut shell, it encourages invertebrates which increase the health of all higher order organisms.
"Frustratingly, our state government has recently scrapped a planning policy which could have introduced rules for the provision of trees in our decreasing gardens.
"It is therefore more important than ever to get trees into streets and public spaces and to remind council they need to be proactive.
"Get writing to Planning Minister Mr Anthony Roberts about responsible planning for health and liveability.
"We are literally cooking ourselves here on the Peninsula and we all have the heat maps to prove it."
Social media, 26 Apr 2022
Jen Wilder, GUST