Trees provide a raft of interconnected environment, social and economic benefits to the community, such as shade, streetscape amenity, air pollution reduction and habitat for wildlife.
Council manages 55,000 street trees and a significant number of park trees. The street tree population alone is worth an estimated $182 million.
The River Red Gum – 'Australia’s Favourite Tree'
Greater Dandenong is home to many river red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) which were recently voted Australia’s favourite tree. These wonderful trees have been known to live for up to 1000 years and provide a range of interconnected cultural, environmental, social, and economic benefits for the community. In Greater Dandenong river red gums are often found along waterways, parks and open spaces where they provide crucial shade, filter air pollution and water. River red gums form natural hollows that provide essential habitat for our local wildlife, including marsupials such as the Krefft’s glider (Petaurus notatus), various insects and birds such as the laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) and the critically endangered swift parrot (Lathamus discolor). These hollows can take more than 100 years to form and are fundamental to the biodiversity values and ecosystem functions of Greater Dandenong.
Help us protect trees in Greater Dandenong
River red gums and all other native trees are protected under Federal and State legislation including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Flora and Fauna Guarantee Amendment Act 2019 and Environment Protection Act 2017. It is illegal to intentionally harm or remove any part of a native tree.
The destruction of trees costs Council and ratepayers money and is a serious offence which can result in fines and criminal convictions.
Tree Selection and Planting
Council's trees are important for our future: to help adapt to climate change, provide much needed shade and provide habitat for our wildlife.
Greater Dandenong’s current tree canopy is one of the lowest in Melbourne, so Council have committed to planting more trees in public spaces and maintaining high tree planting and establishment standards for both Council and developers. It is important to plant the right tree in the right place in the right way.
Council manages all trees on public land within the Greater Dandenong. This work includes:
- running the street tree pruning program
- identifying significant trees
- managing dangerous trees.
Contact Council on 8571 1000 if you find a fallen branch or tree in a street or public area. They will act straight away to remove any dangers.
Street Tree Pruning Program
Council inspects and prunes nature strip trees every two years to ensure that:
- trees are clear of the overhead electric wires
- people are safe to use the footpaths without having to worry about the danger of low-hanging branches
- traffic is safe to use the roadway without having to worry about the danger of low branches
- they remove deadwood from trees
- they shape young trees.
Council has divided the municipality into 13 blocks. Council then prunes each block worked at a certain time over the two-year cycle.
Contact Council to find out the date for your street's next pruning.
Removal of Council trees
Council aims to increase low canopy cover over the next ten years. It aims to keep as much tree canopy as possible.
Council's Tree Removal and Retention Guideline sets the criteria for tree removal. Council will keep trees that do not meet the criteria for removal.
Electric Line Clearance Management Plan
Council is responsible to provide efficient electric line clearance management. The duties of the responsible council officer, as set out in the Electricity Safety Regulation (2015), is to ensure:
- Safety to public and property
- Provision of a safe working place for employees and service providers
- Compliance with the Code of Practice for Electric Line Clearance 2010
- Management of vegetation to maximize the amenity value of the Council’s street trees
- Management of trees for aesthetic, cultural, ecological or environmental significance
- Community satisfaction with the manner in which the necessary works required by the Act are performed
Tree Protection on Development Sites
Council have committed to planting more trees in public spaces, protecting existing trees and maintaining high tree management standards for both Council and developers. The primary goal of tree protection is the long-term survival and viability of a tree while allowing appropriate development to take place. Council managed trees will be protected from construction works and other activities that threaten tree condition, safety or amenity by adherence to Australian Standards.
Urban Forest Tree Repurposing Guidelines
Australian Local Governments play a critical role in managing and caring for public vegetation, especially trees. This care also includes managing the end of each tree’s life. Trees in urban areas are removed for many reasons, including old age, making way for urban development or infrastructure, managing risk, conflict with infrastructure and even misdemeanour.
Tree repurposing enables opportunities to use logs for habitat or milling them into lengths of timber for furniture making or mulching them to return nutrients to the soil and create habitat.
This Guideline looks at the various options and a decision-making framework for repurposing timber from trees removed in the public realm. It provides an easy to use decision making hierarchy to maximise the repurposing opportunities arising from the removal of urban trees.