Urban Tree Strategy


Urban Tree Strategy

The Urban Tree Strategy includes a number of examples of notification cards and new street tree fact sheets. The Urban Tree Strategy is located below.


Trees are regarded as important for a variety of environmental, social and economic reasons. They add to the landscape character of an area, preserve biodiversity; provide shade and shelter and habitats for fauna. Potential economic benefits of high amenity, well-treed areas include increased property values.

The City of Burnside has significant vegetation coverage that is extremely valued by its residents. This vegetation is found lining our streets and on Council owned and managed parks and reserves.


A tree is one of the noblest works of nature. It has been said that a home without trees is cheerless; a road without trees is shadeless; a park without trees is purposeless; and a country without trees is hopeless. The appearance and general environment of many streets is improved considerably by the presence of trees. Trees soften the harsh lines of paving, kerbs and water tables and screen the ever-present and monotonous stobie pole. In addition to providing shade in summer, they provide a welcome contrast to long stretches of asphalt road. Birds find refuge in trees and in turn, these help to keep garden pests under control.

Screening unsightly properties can be achieved, to say nothing of checking traffic noise and purification of air polluted by motor vehicles and industry. Trees enhance architecture. There are few buildings, which do not look better in the company of suitable trees. Trees and architecture have been associated since antiquity. Modern buildings especially need trees.

In fact, the most distressing areas in cities are usually those which do not have trees. The City of Burnside is well endowed with street trees relative to most other municipalities in Adelaide. The streetscape quality is valued by residents and contributes directly to the amenity of Burnside through:

  • Aesthetic improvement
  • Climatic modification
  • Wildlife habitats
  • Economic benefits
  • Healthy environment
  • Social well being

The City of Burnside has a long and proud history of Street Tree Planting. Burnside is synonymous with wide tree lined avenues. Our majestic avenues are copied and talked about throughout Australia. From the earliest individual property owners who took it upon themselves to beautify their own frontages to coordinated programs undertaken by groups such as the Rose Park Residence Association.

Council is committed to maintaining, enhancing and developing the street tree plantings of the city, now and in the future. Our earliest residents and city managers have handed council a proud legacy. While Council officers and residents are generally aware of the quality of the existing trees, it is difficult to determine the extent of work required to maintain and indeed, improve upon the existing streetscape character.

For example, many of the best specimens were planted earlier this century and are mature or past maturity and beginning to enter into a state of decline. There is widespread belief, even a subconscious desire, to believe that trees, if not immortal, are very long-lived organisms. Unfortunately street trees have a limited life expectancy as the ground beneath the tree is covered with asphalt and it is subjected to constantly high levels of air pollutants, high air temperatures, restricted water availability and vandalism. In some cases that life expectancy can be reduced down to as low as 30 years. Irrespective of this sort of detail, people are keen to believe that decisions on tree management/replacement can continuously be deferred to future generations.

In 2006 Council endorsed the first ever Urban Tree Strategy . The Urban Tree Strategy aims to maintain and develop the tree resources of the City of Burnside by actively enhancing and fostering the management of these resources in partnership with the people of the City. It will provide a framework for staff, residents and professionals to manage trees throughout the City for the long term. The Strategy applies to street trees, parks and reserve plantings and privately owned trees that affect council infrastructure. It provides generic management plans for trees within Council-owned reserves, care and maintenance standards for 'significant trees', and guidelines and future directions for replacing street trees.

The strategy is a working document that can be updated to suit the future needs and directions of the City. It is closely linked to the City of Burnside's 'Vision 2020 Strategic Plan' and to the recently completed Community Land Management Plans. It provides a straightforward guide to all issues related to tree management within the City.

The basic objective of the Strategy is to re-define tree-management practices and create policies that will maintain and improve the quality of the tree stock within our City for the future. Council policies and practices need to meet community expectations, in line with available resources. Council recognises its responsibility to maintain an asset that is dynamic and subject to increasing environmental changes in both built and natural environments. Management systems and practices must be flexible enough to adapt to these changes without being vague and inconsistent.

The Strategy also includes a communication and information program that provides quality advice to the community. There is a comprehensive list of suggested replacement tree species for each street within the City, as well as suggestions about the significance of particular tree species in the history of the local area. This Strategy combines all current practices, informal and formal policies into one document that includes a number of recommendations about the way we manage the City's largest and most valued asset.

The strategy defines and clarifies a number of ongoing and recent management practices that will direct how the City's trees will look into the future. Key initiatives and actions include.

  • Additional street tree planting potentials
  • Alternative verge treatments
  • Protection of street trees near development sites
  • Watering regimes
  • The Complete Care Pruning Program
  • Clearance pruning specifications
  • Resident notification system
  • Young tree pruning
  • Remnant tree pruning
  • Replacement programs for parks and reserves
  • Tree removal issues
  • Tree removal notification policy
  • Where the tree proposed for removal
  • Development site: driveway crossover set backs
  • Driveway crossover widths
  • Tree replacement programs
  • Non-conforming tree planting
  • Private over hanging vegetation