How will you use my feedback?
Planting the right tree in the right place will make our City more liveable, and successful. There are many areas across our City with very little shade, and we want to focus our efforts on making a difference where we need it most.
Your feedback from the Summer Shade Survey is one way to help us to prioritise planting in areas which will deliver the best outcomes for the whole community.
What is the Urban Greening Strategy?
Urban greening is about strategically increasing the quality and quantity of all vegetation and open green space on all land types in an urban setting.
The Urban Greening Strategy 2017-2037 presents our vision for a coordinated approach to managing urban vegetation and outlines the steps required to implement a program of investment in public urban greening in Wollongong over the next 20 years.
Delivery of the Urban Greening Strategy is one of the five strategic priorities chosen by the Councillors.
How does Council decide where to plant more trees?
Council is committed to investing in public trees as a way to deliver long term benefits to our City. Community feedback will help us make good decisions about where we need shade and cooling.
We want to protect the most vulnerable members of our community from the impacts of extreme heat, and to improve the quality of life and amenity for everyone. We want to improve ecosystem function and the environmental performance of our urban areas.
Priority areas for planting will be those with low tree canopy cover, places where people gather or move about, and places where there are high levels of social vulnerability.
Some examples of how we’re delivering a strategic approach to urban greening include:
- An ongoing program integrating new tree planting into the capital program of road and footpath renewal
- Planting high quality trees to provide natural shade in 55 local playgrounds over the next 4 years
- Calling for requests from residents to plant trees in the road reserve in: Bellambi, Berkeley, Corrimal, Dapto, Fairy Meadow, Port Kembla, Unanderra, Warrawong and Woonona
Can I request a tree?
We’re currently calling for requests from residents to plant trees in the road reserve (nature strip or verge) in the priority suburbs of: Bellambi, Berkeley, Corrimal, Dapto, Fairy Meadow, Port Kembla, Unanderra, Warrawong and Woonona.
If you live outside of these areas, please do lodge your request – it will help us to understand demand, and prioritise future planting schedules.
How else can I be involved?
You can help grow and protect our City’s canopy cover in many ways. Your own backyard is a great place to start – the majority of our existing tree cover is on private land.
Council’s Greenplan Nursery is located at the Botanic Gardens, and offers a wide range of ground covers, grasses, trees and shrubs indigenous to the Wollongong area. We have native plant sales on the third Friday of each month between 7.30am and 2.30pm (excluding December) plus four Saturday sales throughout the year. For more information, visit: http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/botanicgarden/conservation/Pages/greenplan.aspx
Council has produced GROW LOCAL Illawarra Garden Guides to help you find suitable local native and edible plants for urban gardens of the Illawarra. To download a copy of the guide: http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/services/sustainability/sustainableliving/Pages/growlocalbiodiversity.aspx
You could join hundreds of community volunteers to help conserve and restore the biodiversity in Wollongong’s natural areas through our Bushcareprogram
What makes a great tree?
Great trees thrive in the context which they’re planted. Some trees have a tough job to do, growing within roadways and town centres. Others will help support local biodiversity, providing habitat and connections for wildlife across our urban areas.
The right tree in the right place will deliver many benefits. Great trees provide a sense of place and local identity, and encourage people to be active outdoors. Trees help to maintain a healthy urban environment as they release oxygen, trap airborne pollutants, filter stormwater and absorb carbon dioxide. They improve wellbeing and reduce people’s exposure to the sun and harmful radiation. Economic benefits include improved asset longevity, reduced energy consumption and costs, and higher residential property values.The Urban Greening Strategy identifies the need to develop a new set of tree technical guidelines, part of which will include a review of the species recommended for planting across various contexts in the urban realm.
How does Council manage trees on public land?
Council manages a diverse range of trees of different species, ages, size and significance growing in an increasingly urbanised environment.
These include both old and new plantings alongside footpaths, street trees on busy highways and quiet suburban streets and lanes, vegetation in our parks and natural areas, remnant locally indigenous trees, individual specimens with heritage or ecological significance, trees and other vegetation growing within our town and city centres, and other public spaces.
While trees play an important role in the urban landscape, sometimes trees can create unreasonable problems, conflict and risks. Council is committed to avoiding these issues by planting trees of the right type, in the right place. We’ll work to maintain their health through regular maintenance and inspections, and properly manage interactions with surrounding assets and infrastructure.
Council has certain obligations with respect to the protection of trees, and for any injury and damage caused directly by trees for which they are responsible. Council recognises the necessity and importance of appropriate tree selection and risk controls to effectively manage existing and potential threats to public safety, private property and council assets and infrastructure.
Managing the risks associated with public trees, whilst maximising the benefits that they can provide, requires a robust planning and decision making framework. Council is committed to managing these important assets within the constraints and challenges associated with urban environments and Council’s limited resources.
For information see: PublicTree Management Policy
Do I need permission to remove a tree on my property?
Whether native or exotic, development Consent or a Tree Management Permit is required for tree removal or pruning if your tree:
- is three metres or more in height and/or
- has a trunk diameter of 200mm or more at a height of one metre from the ground and/or
- has a branch spread of three metres or more.
- is dead/dying and meets the one of the three criteria listed above
- or for the pruning of major structural/anchor roots.
Council has adopted a Tree Management Policy (2013), which allows for a proper assessment to be made of the environmental importance and viability of trees on private land before they are pruned or removed.
For more information about Trees on Private Land, visit http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/services/household/trees/Pages/treesonprivateland.aspx
How is Council dealing with tree vandalism?
Tree vandalism includes the unlawful destruction, damage or injury to trees on public or private land. Examples include poisoning, ringbarking, pruning and removing trees.
Council has adopted a Tree and Vegetation Vandalism Policy to provide clear guidelines for the investigation and response to incidents of deliberate damage to trees and other vegetation on Council owned and managed land.
All reports are treated by Council as confidential and vandalism of trees on private property will be acted on as a breach of Council’s Tree Management Policy. An investigation will be undertaken and can incur a penalty of up to $1.1 million under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979).
The following information will help when reporting tree vandalism:
•Persons involved, company, vehicle details including registration, photos taken.
•Date and time of the incident.
•What the person/s used – e.g. chainsaw, ladders, ropes, hand saws, any machinery/equipment used.
•Details of the trees – how many, their location on the property, i.e. front yard/back yard, tree species (if known), height/width – the more information the better.
Contact Wollongong City Council Customer Service phone (02) 4227 7111.
You can also report tree vandalism online