Urban Forest News

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Summer tips for taking care of our urban forest

Tip Number 1 - Any additional watering you can provide to our street trees is very much appreciated by Council and by the tree.
As summer approaches and through the heat of summer Council contractors will be watering new street trees. If there is an extended dry period we encourage you to supplement this watering program with some water of your own.

Recently planted trees have been fitted with a water well. These watering wells allow the water within to penetrate the tree’s root, as this is the most appropriate location for new trees to be watered.

Tip Number 2 Mulching nature’s way of saving water
We ask that you don't add mulch of your own to street trees as we specify mulch mixed to a national specification, free of any potential weed seed or pathogens. Grass clippings piled up like a volcano around the base of a tree can suffocate the tree, cause root rot and innter bark death among other things.
 
We will continue to mulch around new street trees when in need. Usually this is done during Spring before the summer heat arrives. Appropriate mulching reduces water loss, stop weeds and improve soil conditions.

Tip Number 3 - Avoid soil compaction
Because urban areas are highly used spaces, compaction and poor soil conditions can restrict access to moisture. Residents are encouraged not to park on the footway and definitely not within the drop zone of the roots as it does compact the soil. Soil compaction can suffocate and reduce the amount of water reaching the root zone. Aerating the nature strip outside the mulched area of the tree with a pitchfork can help not only your street tree but also the health of the grass.

Tip Number 4 - Take care of yourself as well
Make sure you only fill the bucket to a level that is safe and comfortable for you to carry. Also take care when walking with your filled bucket. Watch for steps and uneven ground.

Right tree in the right place

Have you every wondered how City of Newcastle (CN) select trees for street tree planting? It is not just a matter of going into the local nursery and choosing something that looks beautiful. It is important to choose a tree that is right for the place it is intended to be planted. Over the last decade and a half CN has made huge improvements in how street trees are selected. Selection is made with careful planning and consideration of the location and species characteristics such as footway width, powerlines, underground infrastructure, tree height, canopy spread, deciduous or evergreen, form or shape, soil, sun and moisture requirements. This ensures the life, health and benefits of street trees are maximised. To find out more check out our Street Tree Selection Manual.

A short-list of suitable tree species is generated through our Street Tree Selection Manual and. This short-list is then taken to residents to choose a preference.

A well planned streetscape can cool homes in summer, make the most of winter sun, contribute to vibrant friendly neighbourhoods, increase the life of road surfaces, bring wildlife back into the neighbourhood, clean air and filter stormwater. Research has also shown that traffic is calmer, residents walk more and property values can increase in streets lined with trees.

To find out more about our street tree planting program or to see where we are planting in Autumn 2020 visit our street tree planting page.


Find out about the diverse environmental education activities Council is delivering across Newcastle.