Community invited to nominate significant trees for protection

To protect Baw Baw’s iconic leafy town character, Council is inviting all community members to participate in a shire-wide Significant Tree Study to nominate exceptional, eligible trees throughout Baw Baw and identify them within a Significant Tree Register.

Running from 9 October 2023 through 2 February 2024, the study will support changes to the Baw Baw Shire Planning Scheme to protect significant trees and deliver key actions in Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy focused on building a better understanding of the Council’s environmental assets and increasing protection of the environment across the Shire.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Annemarie McCabe describes the study as a crucial next step to protect and support biodiversity across the Shire.

“Significant trees within towns are inextricably linked to that particular place and can define the character of the broader landscape. Vegetation, particularly large, old trees provide important connections to people and place, along with supporting biodiversity in Baw Baw Shire,” says the Mayor. “We’re inviting all community members to get involved and to help us identify eligible significant trees throughout our Shire that warrant special protection.”

The study is a shire-wide extension of a 2019 partnership project between Friends of Drouin’s Trees and Baw Baw Shire Council which established a register of significant trees on public land or land managed by Council throughout Drouin.

“Friends of Drouin’s Trees have been real trailblazers in this space and they have been instrumental in establishing the existing Significant Tree Register for Drouin,” says the Mayor. “We are delighted to be working with them, Friends of Warragul’s Trees, other stakeholder groups and the entire Baw Baw community to extend the register right across our green shire.”

Residents are advised that the study intends to highlight only the ‘best of the best’ in Baw Baw’s towns, therefore all community-nominated trees must meet certain Significant Tree Criteria for eligibility for inclusion. Residents are also advised that nominations will not be accepted for trees located in the Urban Growth Zone (UGZ) where Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) apply, in Public Use Zones (PUZ), or those already protected in a Heritage Overlay.

Prior to nominating, community members are encouraged to read the FAQ section of the project webpage at the link below to find out what makes a tree significant.

Nominated trees will be assessed on site by qualified independent arborists to determine their significance before being included in the register.

How to nominate a tree of significance:

Online via Baw Baw Connect

Click here to visit

Nominators will be able to use an interactive map and pin-drop function to nominate potentially significant trees. Each nomination must also meet criteria to ensure it is significant. Nominators may also upload a photo to support their nomination.

In person at a drop-in session at various locations across Baw Baw

Trafalgar Farmers Market at McGregor Park

  • Saturday 4 November
  • 10am-12pm

Council Pop up at Warragul Farmers Market, Civic Park

  • Saturday 18 November
  • 10am-12pm

Longwarry Council Pop-Up

  • Saturday 3 December
  • 10am-12pm

West Gippsland Arts Centre, Lyrebird Room

  • Thursday 23 November
  • 5pm-7pm

Nominations of significant trees will be accepted until Friday 2 February 2024.

Field assessments will be completed between February and May 2024 with the draft significant tree register finalised by the middle of 2024.

To learn more about the Significant Tree Study, nominate a tree and follow the progress of this project, please visit: Baw Baw Connect – Significant Tree Study.

/Public Release. View in full here.