Keeping Unley Leafy for Generations to Come. A new Tree Strategy

The current Unley Council, like it’s predecessors, is very keen on keeping Unley leafy for generations to come. Accordingly, we are looking to update our tree strategy.

Keeping Unley leafy for future generations

 

To achieve this we have developed a new “draft” tree strategy. A draft strategy, giving you an opportunity to examine it and provide input into a final draft. The consultation has commenced. We will receive feedback up until 11 May.

I encourage everyone, whether a tree lover or a tree hater to examine the draft.

We are looking to increase our tree canopy cover from the current 26% to 31% by 2045. This matches the State Governments objectives of 30% of the greater metropolitan area having tree canopy.

The strategy identifies a need to consider greening in/on:

  • the open space controlled by Council
  • in our streets
  • on land owned by State or Federal Government
  • on Private land.

 

Council recognises that we are not able to achieve this without your participation. This is because 80% of the area of the City of Unley is under private ownership.

 

In other words, keeping Unley leafy for generations to come will require not just council maximising planting on its own land, but finding ways of encouraging you to do the same. The strategy highlights the reasons for this.

14,000 standard size trees (trees with a diameter of 8 metres) will need to be planted in the next 26 years to achieve the goals. This large target equates to an average of 540 new trees planted per year. As outlined in the strategy, it is recognised that with limited public space, a large number of these trees will need to be planted on private land.

We therefore need to know how you feel about you and your neighbours contributing to this goal by retaining and planting new trees on your respective properties. Your input into how we might encourage you to do this will be appreciated.

Council’s tree Strategy Should Recognise Nuisance Trees

Having a strategy to deal with nuisance trees was one of my many election promises. Placing a weighting on the nuisance a tree represents must surely apply to any responsible tree strategy.

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It is timely, as we lament the loss of significant trees as blogged last week in Black Forest, to remember that some trees are nuisance trees.

Nuisance Tree

Nuisance Tree

While this loss of the Black Forest trees is hurting, we must recognise that trees do need to be removed if and when:

  1. The tree is dead
  2. The tree is unhealthy.
  3. It is structurally unsound and inclined to drop limbs
  4. Likewise it presents a danger to person or property.

These issues are dealt with by the Development Act for trees deemed to be regulated or significant trees.  It requires even Council owned trees go through this process.

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Council, as a responsible tree owner, has indeed a similar process for their trees that aren’t regulated, significant. Only trees authorised however by our arborist as either unhealthy or presenting a physical danger can be removed. Trees that may be a nuisance but don’t present as a physical danger are subsequently ignored.

 

As a responsible tree owner and neighbour Council should have a policy to deal with trees that are causing (for want of a better word) a nuisance to one of our neighbours.

 

A policy covering nuisances that don’t necessarily fit that criteria but sufficient to cause understandable stress for the neighbour. Given this, such a tree that was put before the elected body in the Chamber last night for direction.

Council approved a motion moved by Cr Boisvert and seconded by myself for removal of the tree. You can access details of the level of nuisance in this case in the agenda., commencing at page 155 of the agenda.

This need to take a motion to the chamber for a tree creating a health issue for one of our neighbours is clumsy and costly. This experience will surely inform the new tree strategy we have commenced working on.