Wanneroo Council adopts policy to increase street trees to one per home

Street trees in Wanneroo. Picture: Martin Kennealey d489224
Street trees in Wanneroo. Picture: Martin Kennealey d489224

WANNEROO Council has adopted a street tree policy to increase the number of trees planted, with at least one verge tree beside every home.

The council adopted the policy at its December 11 meeting following public consultation, during which the City received seven submissions.

“No major issues were identified – it is therefore recommended that council adopt the draft policy without modification,” the council report said.

“(It) will guide management of trees on City-owned or managed public open spaces and road reserves.

“The key implication of adopting the draft street tree policy will be for a minimum of one tree to be planted in the verge adjacent to every residential property in the City.”

In moving the recommendation, councillor Dot Newton said new suburbs were “severely lacking in street trees”.

Cr Domenic Zappa said increasing tree numbers would create a “sustainable and friendly environment for future generations”.

Cr Frank Cvitan said it was an important policy, particularly in areas with R40 or R60 housing densities.

“We are losing our canopy and it’s important that we maintain that,” he said.

Cr Hugh Nguyen said he wanted to see “more colour” and “more vibrancy” with flowering trees such as jacarandas.

The report said the policy would help the City manage residents’ requests to prune or remove trees, illegal tree removal, and planting or replacing trees, as well as protecting trees during development.

“Planting and replacement requirements will also ensure that canopy cover is maintained where trees have been removed illegally, or for valid reasons relating to risk, health and/or safety,” it said.

The policy increased the range of recommended tree species to promote biodiversity, including native and non-endemic species.

“This practice, coupled with an increase in street tree numbers, will potentially increase wildlife habitat and increase solar passive benefits throughout the streetscapes,” it said.

The policy outlined the City’s annual winter planting program, which includes residents’ requests, as well as unauthorised planting and pruning guidelines.

It said trees could be removed in circumstances such as when they were diseased, irreparably damaged by storms or in a crash, or hazardous, but not if they blocked views, caused allergies or created nuisance by shedding leaves, fruit or bark.