How do trees benefit me?
Increased amenity value - Trees visually enhance an area, increase property values and add to the landscape character.
Reduce energy usage - Trees strategically planted to provide shade from the sun can cool buildings by up to 7°C which can reduce air conditioning costs.
Increased life span of infrastructure and assets - Tree shade can increase the life span of infrastructure such as roads which in turn reduce maintenance and replacement costs.
Reduced health care costs - Studies indicate that greener suburbs encourage people to exercise more and provides better mental health outcomes. Increasing the physical and mental health of people results in a reduction to community health care costs.
Shading and cooling - Trees provide shade and reduce the surrounding air temperature through the process of evapotranspiration.
Improving air quality - Trees trap and absorb air pollutants such as dust and particulate matter which improves air quality.
Reduces stormwater runoff - Trees slow stormwater flow rates, reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality by capturing and filtering water through their leaves and root systems.
Carbon sequestration - Trees help to mitigate the impacts of global warming by capturing and storing carbon and removing it from the atmosphere.
Provision of food and habitat for wildlife - Trees provide food sources and shelter for animals such as birds, mammals, insects and other wildlife.
Creating a sense of place - Tree lined streets and well-designed green spaces enhance the urban form which facilitates a strong sense of community connection to an area.
Reduces sun and heat related illnesses - The provision of shade and a subsequent reduction in air temperature can help reduce mortality rates, especially amongst the most vulnerable e.g. the young, the elderly and homeless people.
Supports community cohesion - Green urban spaces, especially those providing well shaded areas encourage the local community to gather and interact and this facilitates community cohesion.
Improves physical and mental health - Providing green spaces within urban areas encourages people to undertake outdoor activities such as exercise and promotes interaction with others which has a variety of positive health effects for both physical, mental and social wellbeing.
Reduction in anti-social behaviour - Research indicates that green spaces have a positive influence on the social behaviour of a community and can reduce the level of particular illegal activities.
Why do we need policy intervention?
The City of Bayswater has made an aspirational commitment to increase canopy coverage to 20% by the year 2025 as part of the City's adopted Urban Forest Strategy. The City's current tree canopy coverage is approximately 13.2%.
To assist in meeting a target of 20% tree canopy coverage by 2025, immediate and ongoing action is required. Aside from planting new trees, the loss of existing trees needs to also be considered. New residential infill development accounts for a significant percentage of tree canopy loss in our urban areas. It is considered likely that if no intervention is taken, tree canopy loss will continue and the ability to reach the City's aspirational tree canopy target will be jepordised.
Therefore in order to increase canopy coverage and enjoy the benefits of more trees in our urban areas, policy intervention is required.
Do I have to provide trees on my property?
You will only be required to provide trees on your property as part of new development, where the approximate cost of the proposed development is:
(a) $100,000 or more for residential developments; and
(b) $200,000 or more for non-residential and mixed use developments, excluding those involving only a change of use or internal works.
Trees will also be required to be provided as part of residential subdivisions where existing dwellings are proposed to be retained.
Do I need to provide trees on the street verge?
You will be required to provide trees on the street verge outside of your property as part of any new development or subdivision.
If no street trees exist, at least one new tree is to be provided on the verge adjacent to the site.The City may require additional trees to be provided, where space is available.
How many trees do I have to provide?
Trees that have the potential to grow to at least 4m in height are to be provided at a rate of one tree for every 350m2 of site area (rounded to the nearest whole number).
At least one tree is to be provided on each site.The trees are required to have a minimum size of at least 35 litres when planted.
The total number of trees required to be provided may be reduced by one where a tree is provided that has the potential to grow to at least 12m in height.
Do I have to keep existing trees on my property?
No, the City will not require you to retain any trees on your property as part of new development. However, if you do decide to retain trees and they are considered 'worthy of retention', then the total number of trees that you are required to provide may be reduced by one.
When is a tree worthy of retention?
Existing trees on private property are considered worthy of retention when they:
(a) are considered by the City of Bayswater to be healthy specimens with ongoing viability; and
(b) are considered by the City of Bayswater to be species that are not included on an applicable weed register or are an unsuitable tree species; and
(c) are at least 3m in height; and/or
(d) have a trunk with a diameter of at least 100mm at 1m from the ground; and/or
(e) have two or more trunks and the aggregate of their individual diameter at 1m above ground is at least 200mm; and/or
(f) have a canopy with a diameter of at least 3m.
Do I have to keep existing trees on my street verge?
In most cases yes. The only time when trees on the street verge can be removed is when:
(a) The tree is dead;
(b) Where an unacceptable level of risk exists within the tree's structure and remedial techniques cannot rectify;
(c) The tree is suffering from a disease where remedial techniques will not prevent further spread of the disease, and the removal will be of benefit to other trees around it;
(d) The tree is causing significant damage to infrastructure and suitable documented evidence is provided by a suitably qualified currently practising arborist, at the expense of the applicant; and/or
(e) To facilitate the placement of a permanent vehicle access crossing as a last resort, where there is no other viable option.
What is a 'tree growth zone'?
A tree growth zone is an exclusion zone around a tree, which assists in the protection, growth and ongoing health of a tree.
A tree growth zone is required around the entire base of all new trees or existing trees that are to be retained on the site, measured at:
(a) a minimum radius of 2m for a tree that has the potential to grow to 4m in height; and
(b) a minimum radius of 3.5m for a tree that has the potential to grow to 12m in height.No structure is to encroach within the tree growth zone, above or below ground level and it is to be contained completely on the site.
What will be my ongoing responsibilities?
All new trees are to be watered for the first two summers.
All retained and new trees are to be adequately maintained and kept in good health. In the event that a tree is in poor health and needs to be removed, it is to be replaced with an adequate replacement tree, to the satisfaction of the City of Bayswater.
How do I plant a tree?
The City will provide information on our website soon about how to plant a tree, www.bayswater.wa.gov.au.