Street Tree Planting program gets underway

Street Tree Planting photo with Cr White and Mayor Hanson.jpg

Council has begun the first phase of its Street Tree Planting program, which will see towns including Beaac Colac, Elliminyt and Birregurra receive trees this financial year, with Apollo Bay, Colac and Birregurra to receive trees in the next financial year and further streets in Colac to benefit in the 2023-2024 financial year.

“Street trees improve the livability of towns including increasing air quality, storing carbon, reducing flooding by reducing runoff, providing shade to encourage walkability and reducing heat,” said Mayor Kate Hanson. “It’s fantastic to beautify our shire, while also providing these benefits for future generations.”

The first street to benefit from this work was Manifold Street in Colac between Hesse and Gellibrand Streets, with the removal of 14 existing Claret Ash trees that were in poor health, and the planting of 22 Urbanite Ash trees to renew the streetscape.

Community engagement on the works included a letter-drop to residents in early May and further personal consultation (via door-knocking) to residents prior to works commencing. Due to the heritage overlay, advice and approval from town planners and a heritage advisor were also obtained.

Next up will be Wallace Street in Beaac, which will receive 15 Dutch Elm trees and see the continuation of an existing avenue of this species in the town.

“Like most people, I enjoy walking around our streets admiring the beautiful trees we have and feel grateful for the sense of community they provide to us,” said Mayor Hanson. “It’s sad when trees suffer poor health because they bring happiness to people, but it’s good to see new plantings to provide a revitalised streetscape for future generations to enjoy.”

Funding of $45k was allocated for the program in the 2021-22 Budget and planting has been appropriately-timed to give the new trees the best chance of establishment and survival. The trees have been sourced up to 3m in height to provide immediate street impact.

/Public Release. View in full here.