Trees & Development - The City of Melbourne

Trees & Development – The City of Melbourne

Understanding Melbourne’s Tree Protection Regulations

Did you know that the City of Melbourne has strict tree protection regulations in place? These regulations exist to ensure that our urban forest thrives, providing both aesthetic and environmental benefits to the city. Let’s dive into the rules and regulations surrounding trees in Melbourne.

What Is Urban Forestry and Why Is It Important?

Urban forestry is the management of trees and green spaces within cities, towns, and urban environments. It plays a crucial role in creating healthier, more liveable, and sustainable cities. Urban trees provide numerous benefits such as reducing air pollution, mitigating the heat island effect, and enhancing the overall wellbeing of residents.

How Does the City of Melbourne Protect Trees?

The City of Melbourne has a comprehensive tree protection policy, which involves assessing development proposals and enforcing regulations that protect trees. This policy safeguards significant trees on both public and private land, ensuring that Melbourne’s green spaces are preserved for future generations.

What Permits Are Required for Tree Removal in Melbourne?

Before removing a tree in Melbourne, you’ll need to obtain a permit from the local council. The permit process varies depending on the tree’s location, size, and significance. Generally, you’ll need a permit if the tree has a trunk circumference of 110 centimeters or more, measured at 1.5 meters above ground level.

How Can I Determine If My Tree Is Protected?

To find out if a tree on your property is protected, consult the City of Melbourne’s online mapping tool, which provides information on tree protection zones. You can also contact the council’s arboriculture team for advice on specific trees and the necessary permits.

To determine which trees are protected under local laws in the City of Melbourne, you can follow these steps:

  1. Consult the City of Melbourne’s planning scheme, which includes information on tree protection zones, significant trees, and heritage overlays. The planning scheme can be accessed online via the Victoria Planning Portal.
  2. Check the City of Melbourne’s online mapping tool, which provides information on tree protection zones, overlays, and significant trees.
  3. Look for signs or markers on the tree or nearby, which may indicate the tree’s protection status.
  4. Contact the City of Melbourne’s arboriculture team for advice on specific trees and their protection status.

By understanding the local laws and protection status of trees in Melbourne, you can ensure compliance with regulations and help preserve the city’s valuable urban forest.

Impact Assessments in Melbourne

Impact assessments play a crucial role in preserving Melbourne’s urban forest, ensuring that trees are protected from potential harm during construction and development projects. These assessments evaluate the potential effects of proposed works on trees, identify mitigation measures, and establish monitoring requirements. By conducting thorough impact assessments, the City of Melbourne can make informed decisions on development proposals and minimize the impact on the urban forest.

Tree Protection Plans: Safeguarding Melbourne’s Trees

Tree Protection Plans (TPPs) are an essential component of Melbourne’s tree protection policy. TPPs outline the measures required to protect trees during construction and development activities, such as installing protective barriers and maintaining safe working distances. They also specify any pruning or maintenance work needed before, during, and after construction. By following a comprehensive TPP, developers can help preserve Melbourne’s valuable trees and ensure that the urban forest continues to thrive.

Bond Payable for Working Near Trees

To ensure that developers and contractors take tree protection seriously, the City of Melbourne may require a bond payable when working near trees. This bond serves as a financial guarantee that all tree protection measures outlined in the TPP will be adhered to during construction. If the developer fails to comply with the TPP and damages the tree, the bond may be forfeited, and additional penalties could apply.

Who Can Prune Council Trees in Melbourne?

Tree maintenance, including pruning, is a specialized task that requires professional expertise to ensure the health and safety of the tree. In Melbourne, only council staff or approved contractors are permitted to prune council-owned trees. Unauthorized pruning or removal of council trees can result in fines and legal action. If you believe a council tree requires pruning or maintenance, it’s best to contact the City of Melbourne’s arboriculture team, who will assess the situation and arrange for the necessary work to be carried out

What Are the Penalties for Unlawful Tree Removal?

Unlawful tree removal can result in severe penalties, including fines and legal action. The City of Melbourne takes tree protection seriously and will prosecute individuals who breach the regulations. It’s essential to follow the proper procedures and obtain permits before removing any trees.

What Are Some Best Practices for Tree Maintenance?

To ensure the health and longevity of your trees, regular maintenance is essential. Some best practices include proper pruning, watering, mulching, and pest management. Consulting an arborist can provide valuable advice on tree care and help you maintain a thriving urban forest.

Can I Plant New Trees on My Property?

Yes, you can plant new trees on your property. The City of Melbourne encourages residents to contribute to the urban forest by planting trees and maintaining green spaces. Before planting, consider factors such as tree species, location, and the potential impact on existing structures.

Interesting Facts:
  1. Melbourne’s urban forest comprises over 70,000 public trees from more than 400 different species.
  2. The city aims to increase its tree canopy cover from 22% in 2012 to 40% by 2040, as part of the Urban Forest Strategy.
  3. Melbourne’s urban forest sequesters approximately 2,000 tons of carbon annually, helping mitigate climate change.
  4. In 2013, the City of Melbourne assigned each tree a unique ID and email address, enabling residents to report issues and learn about the trees in their neighborhood.
  5. The oldest known tree in Melbourne is the Separation Tree, a River Red Gum estimated to be over 400 years old, located in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  6. Melbourne’s urban forest contributes to reducing the urban heat island effect by providing shade and evaporative cooling, lowering temperatures by up to 4°C.
  7. Trees in the urban forest help to reduce stormwater runoff, protecting the city from flooding and improving water quality in local waterways.
  8. Melbourne’s urban forest supports local biodiversity by providing habitat and food for various bird, mammal, and insect species.
  9. The City of Melbourne has an ongoing tree planting program, which adds around 3,000 new trees to the urban forest each year.
Links for further reading:
  1. City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy: https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/about-melbourne/sustainability/urban-forest/pages/urban-forest-strategy.aspx
  2. Benefits of Urban Trees: https://www.treenet.org/resources/benefits-urban-trees/
  3. Arboriculture Australia: https://arboriculture.org.au/

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