More of Melbourne’s exceptional trees to be protected

The City of Melbourne will seek protection for more than 100 trees on private property through its Exceptional Tree Register.

Planning portfolio Chair, Councillor Nicholas Reece, said the City of Melbourne will progress the protections through the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

“Melbourne is blessed with an extraordinary urban forest and this initiative will help protect our most exceptional trees for future generations”. Cr Reece said.

“We have has always been regarded as Australia’s ‘garden city’ so it’s no surprise that people are passionate about trees,” Cr Reece said.

“Last year we received 288 nominations for our second round of the Exceptional Tree Register – from residents, business owners, environment groups and arborists.”

“Following a rigorous assessment process, we’re now seeking protection for 119 new exceptional trees for the benefit of all Melburnians.”

“A favourite of mine is the Port Jackson Fig at RMIT University, which is growing on a wall from the old Melbourne Gaol and has aerial roots keeping it in place.”

“The University of Melbourne grounds also feature spectacular trees, such as a pair of large Lemon-scented Gums which provide wonderful shade in summer as well as provide habitat for wildlife.”

An expert assessment panel reviews all nominations for the Exceptional Tree Register.

Once a tree is listed on the register, a planning permit is required to significantly prune, remove, destroy or lop the tree, or to undertake works where the tree’s root system could be damaged.

“We know that development is impacting trees and canopy cover on private property, so it’s important we seek protection for trees that are valuable to the community.”

The first round of trees was afforded planning scheme protection in 2015.

Environment Portfolio Chair, Councillor Cathy Oke, said that a total of 279 publicly nominated trees are now listed on the Exceptional Tree Register. 

“Melbourne is famous for its grand boulevards of Plane and Elm Trees, but we also need to protect local favourites such as Lemon-scented Gums and River Red Gums,” Cr Oke said.

“This is about recognising and protecting the exceptional trees that exist on private land to make sure they can continue to contribute to Melbourne’s liveability for years to come.”

“With City of Melbourne declaring a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency in 2019, the protection of more than 100 new exceptional trees is another step towards preserving Melbourne’s Urban Forest and adapting our city for climate change.”

“We all share responsibility for caring Melbourne’s trees, whether they are on private or public land.”

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