Building an urban forest together

Article image - Building an urban forest together The Urban Forest Strategy invites the community to plant a virtual tree where they would like to see a real one.

Hobsons Bay, Victoria, is launching a campaign to encourage residents, businesses, and industrial areas to help build an urban forest.

As part of Council’s Urban Forest Strategy, the community is invited to plant a virtual tree where they would like to see a real one.
The draft Urban Canopy Delivery Plan maps out recently planted trees and those to be planted over the next 10 years.

The draft plan prioritises areas that currently have a minimal tree canopy, have high heat vulnerability and high pedestrian activity such as around schools, parks, playgrounds, kindergartens and libraries.

‘Harder to plant’ locations, such as shared paths, carparks, asphalt and commercial and industrial areas, will also be part of our future urban forest through water sensitive urban design that can harness new technology to passively water trees.

As well as the draft Urban Canopy Delivery Plan, Council’s Urban Forest Strategy consultation identified the Lagunaria patersonia species (commonly called Itchy Bomb Tree or Norfolk Hibiscus) as an unsuitable urban tree species which commonly causes skin irritation and is now regarded as an environmental weed. Residents can now nominate for an Itchy Bomb Tree to be replaced.

Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Jonathon Marsden, said, “The draft Urban Canopy Delivery Plan is the next step to bring the highly popular Urban Forest Strategy to life. Through last year’s Urban Forest Strategy consultation, we know Hobsons Bay values trees and sees the benefits – improved air quality, reduced ground temperature, enhanced liveability and more shade on buildings and open spaces.

“Not all trees are equal and the right trees for each street, park, reserve and private property will do wonders for our streetscapes, bringing economic benefits, creating wildlife corridors and cooling our streets. The Urban Canopy Plan ensures the right trees are going in the ground, where they are needed the most and provide the best return on investment.”