Increasing Moreland's tree canopy

Why tree and vegetation cover has declined

Large trees are being lost in Moreland due to declining tree canopy on private land, land development, infrastructure and property maintenance, changes in climate, and pests and disease.

Tree canopy cover in our streets and parks has increased over the past decade, however, private tree canopy has declined by a quarter.

Protecting our tree and vegetation cover is important for many reasons, to:

  • provide shade and wind protection
  • provide relief from the urban heat island effect
  • contribute to local biodiversity and provide a home for bird and wildlife, and
  • improve the attractiveness, sense of place, and landscape of Moreland’s suburbs.

How we are enhancing Moreland's tree canopy

In response, Council is taking proactive steps to protect and enhance tree and vegetation cover in Moreland to reverse this overall decline.

The Moreland Urban Forest Strategy (PDF 9Mb) aims to double tree canopy cover across Moreland to 29 per cent by 2050.

Tree Works permit - Protecting mature trees on private land

Moreland Local Law introduces clause 2.5 to protect mature and significant trees on private land. One of its key measures is a Tree Works permit, which is required if you want to prune or remove a mature or significant tree on private property in Moreland.

See Tree Works permit for further details and the application process.

Tree Finder tool - Helping people select the right tree for a space

Council has identified decline in tree canopy on private land as a key issue.

To help achieve this, Council has developed an online Tree Finder tool to guide developers, architects and residents in selecting the most suitable tree species for a space.

Council Planning staff will also use the tool to check the trees specified in planning applications for medium and high density development against the list of recommended species.

Each tree is given a star rating, which is based on the tree's environmental value, ecological benefits, pest and disease susceptibility, climate change adaptability, life expectancy and amenity value.

We recommend you select the right tree for your space, but when you have more than one trees species to choose from, select the tree with the highest star rating. See the Star Rating for Trees methodology (DOC 35Kb).

The list of recommended species was developed from Council street tree strategies, plans and the expertise of qualified staff. Contact Council's Urban Forest Officer if you would like to suggest a tree.

Tree location or main purpose

Enhancing trees in parks and on streets

Through the trees and vegetation we plant and manage in parks and on streets, and our regulatory role, Council plays a part in increasing tree canopy.

The Moreland Urban Forest Strategy (PDF 9Mb) includes key actions for Council:

  • Improve both the health and successful establishment of Council trees
  • Continue to plant canopy trees in Moreland’s streets and parks to fill vacant sites and replace under-performing trees
  • Improve tree health and cooling by integrating water-sensitive urban design, and
  • Protect existing trees through improved planning and enforcement measures by Council.

Further information