Tree Preservation

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Tree Preservation

Over the last 15 years Australian home owners have stopped planting trees. Not only have they stopped planting trees in general, but they’ve almost totally stopped planting native trees in their own backyards. Don is concerned that a significant reason for the move away from backyard trees could be the tree preservation orders which many local councils have in place. The regulations vary across the country, but generally if you want to remove a tree you have to apply to your council in writing, stating the reasons for your request and providing a detailed diagram of your property. If permission to remove the tree is granted, the home owner is often required to plant a replacement tree somewhere on the block. While these ordinances are meant to preserve trees and the environment, they could actually be having the opposite effect. People are no longer willing to risk putting in trees which may grow taller than they expected or may not suit their changing lifestyles, and then find that they’re not allowed to remove them.

What to do?

Don suggests that councils review their tree preservation ordinances. While some councils have regulations that are helping to protect the environment and improve the quality of life of the residents, others have rules which may be counterproductive and actually scare people off from planting trees. Home owners should reconsider putting in trees, particularly trees native to the local area. Here are just a few of the benefits which trees can provide:

they attract wildlife
they provide shade, windbreaks and privacy
they purify the air and produce oxygen
they help to control erosion
they have aesthetic value

Further information

You can obtain a copy of the tree preservation ordinances which apply in your area by contacting your local council.
Before you plant a tree, talk to the horticulturists at your local nursery. They will be happy to advise on a suitable species for your particular climate and situation.