Planting Trees Is Important to Mitcham
This year we are planting 1,200 trees across Mitcham's suburbs. Trees provide many benefits to our health and wellbeing, to our environment through reducing climate change providing habitat as well as financial benefits including improved property values, bitumen roads last longer when shaded, reduced energy consumption for summer cooling.
The City of Mitcham undertakes formative pruning on young trees. While it may look very severe it is actually beneficial for the tree. Formative pruning helps young trees establish. By pruning the tree we can encourage the tree to grow strong and upright. At the same time it also ensures our trees have adequate clearance above footpaths and roads. Pruning is undertaken by qualified specialist officers who are trained in formative pruning. This team have also been equipped with specially designed light weight equipment, allowing them to be mobile working from the road verge and at ground level which is safer and more efficient.
The Tree Strategy’s aims to provide the urban forest that Mitcham’s community wants. Council can now begin planning some major changes to the way trees are managed across Mitcham. Next year the number of trees to be planted will increase to 1,100, with up to 1,800 trees to be planted each year after 2025. Planting more trees each year will offset the increasing number that are currently being lost and will keep Mitcham green into the future.
Over the coming years Council will be preparing tree asset management plans in consultation with the community. These plans will ensure that local issues including heritage, habitat and amenity concerns are adequately addressed. Management plans will also detail which tree species will be planted, where they will be located, and what other features (such as stormwater harvesting and understorey planting) might be available to improve street amenity.
Council is also increasing street tree audits. This will ensure trees are well maintained and that the public is kept safe. Increasing audits will also keep check on tree numbers and how successful the planting programs are. Monitoring tree numbers at the suburb level will keep staff better informed so they can plan planting works where they are most needed.
As well as planting new trees to replace those that are lost for various reasons, Council will expand its program to maintain whole avenues and streetscapes. Many of our best and shadiest avenues are planted with ageing trees like Jacarandas and White Cedars. Some of these ageing trees are deteriorating more quickly than others. Each year Council removes the worst trees from some of these avenues and replaces them with saplings. This way the amenity and value of the avenue is maintained through the replacement process. By staging tree replacement over time in this way, Council is able to prevent the streetscape deteriorating too much and to preserve its values indefinitely.