Street trees

Glen Eira is known as a leafy green City and sees this as an important part of the character of the City. Over the last 20 years we have increased the number of street trees from 30,000 to more than 50,000. Each year Council replaces approximately 1,000 street trees and plants a further 1,000 trees in vacant sites. An important part of our role is to monitor tree health and replace trees as they reach the end of their lives.

When do we remove trees?

Trees are highly valued by the community and we will only removes trees in accordance with the Street Tree Removal Policy which states:  

Council will only allow the removal of a street tree when:

  • It is a hazardous tree that poses an unacceptable risk to public safety or property. A hazardous tree may have one of the following characteristics.
    • Dead or close to death;
    • Structurally unsound;
    • Poses a significant safety hazard, for example exposed roots that present a trip hazard;
    • Known cause of major damage to Council, public utility or private assets;
    • Poses a significant risk of transmitting disease to other trees;
  • The tree has failed to thrive.
  • Necessary Council or other authority’s works require removal of the tree and no other practical/affordable solution is available.
  • Necessary to accommodate a new vehicle crossover where no other alternative exists (when this is the case the person applying for the vehicle crossover must pay for the cost of replacing the tree).

We do not remove trees because they drop fruit, nuts or leaves. These are natural processes and part of having trees in the landscape.

All decisions to remove trees are based on a qualified arborist’s assessment of the tree’s health and risk. The decision to remove a tree is taken seriously and is always in line with our policies and guidelines.

If the tree requires urgent attention, we will remove the tree quickly and notify residents afterwards.

If the tree does not require urgent removal, we will notify the resident immediately adjacent to the tree of the upcoming removal process before it occurs.

Powerlines and trees

We must ensure our trees are clear of the power lines. In 2015 the State Government regulations changed and the distance that Council is required to keep trees clear of powerlines has increased.

This means that we must prune trees harder to comply with the regulations. In some cases, hard pruning can affect the vitality and health of a tree. In these cases (which are rare), a tree may need to be removed.

To meet compliance with the Electricity Safety Regulations 2015 (electric line clearance) each year Council develops a management plan in relation to maintaining the vegetation clear of the powerlines. This is not only to ensure public safety but also to ensure our residents of are provided with a constant supply of electricity.

What species will be planted and how are they selected?

We have identified preferred species for planting for all of the streets in Glen Eira with the aim of creating avenues of trees overtime. These can be found in our Street Tree Planting Preferred Species Palette.

Urban streets are a harsh environment for street trees and often trees on nature strips will have a shorter lifespan than trees in parks and gardens. Species are selected considering a wide range of factors such as the size of the nature strip and street; drought tolerance; attractiveness; natural values; and hardiness. Also, the overall mix and diversity of trees in the City is considered.

We consulted the community as part of developing its Street Tree Planting Preferred Species Palette in 2007. 

When and how does Council remove and plant trees?

Once approved, tree removals are often undertaken in two stages:

  1. tree removal; and  
  2. stump removal (but no more than 20 days after the tree removal).

Replacement trees are planted in the first half of the next planting season from April to June. This is the best time for planting as the trees will establish well and provides the opportunity for the tree to develop into healthy and attractive specimen.

Our replacement trees are of good quality, and are approximately 1.8 metres (this may vary from species to species). When planted the soil is conditioned and the tree is fed to encourage growth. This is followed up with a two year maintenance program that sees the tree staked, mulched, weeded and watered to assist them to thrive.   

Can residents help?

You can help with watering young trees and trees over hot dry periods. A bucket of water every four to five days will help the tree establish more successfully during the hotter months December to March.

Topping up mulch is also helpful (to about 10cm deep), but it should be kept 10cm away from the trunk of the tree. Mulch benefits the trees as it keeps the roots cool and provides nutrients. Lawn clippings are a poorer alternative but can be used if they are kept 10cm away from the trunk as they can burn the tree.

Residents are not permitted to plant, prune or remove trees on the nature strips.

For further information, contact us on 9524 3333.

Are trees always replaced?

Whenever a tree is removed from the nature strip a replacement tree is always planted where possible.

There are a few rare cases where an individual tree may not be replaced, or it may be placed on a nearby part of the nature strip instead. The reasons this may occur include:

  • The removed tree was too close to a driveway, an intersection or road or a replacement tree cannot be planted in the same position due to environmental and infrastructure changes.  
  • The tree is being removed to address risk such as blocking sight lines for traffic, obstructing traffic lights or signs.Council does not plant new trees where they would block visibility

What if I have a concern about at street tree?

If you are concerned about a street tree, please report it to us and a qualified arborist will inspect.