Masterplan to simplify street tree management unveiled by City

MOVING FORWARD: The city has been divided into precincts which are based on existing localities in order to plan for future street trees.

MOVING FORWARD: The city has been divided into precincts which are based on existing localities in order to plan for future street trees.

Angst over unsuitable street trees has been plaguing the City of Mandurah for several years.

Many unhappy residents have spoken to the Mail who claim to have suffered property damage, stress and inconvenience due to the types of trees planted in their residential streets.

In a bid to resolve these issues the City of Mandurah put together a draft Locality Street Tree Masterplan which was brought to council in November.

However, councillors asked for a further workshop in order to review the plan, which was held at the beginning of March.

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At April's Ordinary Council meeting the draft Masterplan was endorsed which means it will now form the basis on which the council pursues its objectives to "protect, nurture, value and enhance the urban canopy together with other street tree planting initiatives", according to the report.

Many factors were involved in making the Masterplan, with 40,000 street trees audited, existing street tree themes considered and a review of the streets with existing overhead powerlines undertaken to help develop it.

It will act as a guide for all new planting as well as managing existing trees. In order to do this the city has been divided into precincts which are based on existing localities.

Objectives include ensuring a diverse range of tree species are used to guard against changes in climate and water availability, increasing habitat and biodiversity through the use of local species and providing a clear planting intent for each individual street.

Arterial roads which are under the control of Main Roads WA have been excluded.

A key part of the plan will be to identify problem species currently planted which aren't flourishing, however the report states that as part of achieving the objectives of the overarching Greening Mandurah Framework, "the City should avoid the removal of healthy street trees, wherever practicable".

It goes on to say if a different type of species is nominated in the Masterplan for a street that has existing trees, it doesn't mean the City will remove these and plant new trees.

The desired species will only be planted as existing trees need replacement.

Likewise, the report says the City has no intention of using fruit trees in its planting schemes due to perceived "management issues", however it does add the community has "the potential to work with the City to create areas of urban fruit trees".

For more details on the Masterplan see the April 27 Ordinary Council meeting agenda on the City of Mandurah's website.

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