“Street trees are an important part of every community and are one of the City of Stirling’s most important assets. The City has approximately 63,000 street trees but these only cover around one third of all street verges.” – City of Stirling
There are many benefits to planting trees in our cities. Due to all the heat absorbing surfaces like concrete and roads, cities are warmer than surrounding rural areas. Trees and other vegetated areas in our cities help lower temperatures counteracting this “urban heat island effect.” As well as shade, the evaporation of water through the leaves of plants into the atmosphere causes the cooling. A shady street is pleasant for walking and prettier to look at. Trees also attract bird and insect life, much needed since so much of their bushland homes are cleared for housing and development.
With winter on the way street tree planting season is here. If you live in the City of Stirling you can request a free street tree for the verge outside your house or you can help with planting street trees in your suburb.
In the coming weeks Community Street Tree Planting Events will be held Saturday mornings 9 to 11:30am in different suburbs every week, with lunch provided after.
- 14 June meet at Vickers Arvo Reserve, Hamersley
- 28 June meet at Williams Walney Reserve, Yokine
- 5 July meet at Carpenteria Cranberry Reserve, Stirling
- 12 July meet at Dechaineux Reserve, Dianella
- 26 July meet at Linthorne Park, Balga
- 2 August meet at Peet Fyfe Reserve, Trigg
- 9 August meet at Appleblossom Polyantha Reserve, Mirrabooka
“The City of Stirling wishes to create themed and consistent streetscapes or tree lined avenues where possible and appropriate. This usually means planting the most predominant street tree species already existing in the street. It is also the City’s preference to plant native tree species where possible, as these trees traditionally have the best chance of survival and attract wildlife corridors.”
This doesn’t always mean locally endemic species are planted, although they are Australian species. My street has mostly Queensland Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) which grows in Queensland rainforests. It grows well in our climate and birds and insects love these trees lining our streets. My street tree has the widest trunk of all the neighbouring trees so I like to think it’s the oldest on the street. Due to the power lines on my side of the street it’s pruned yearly so the branches can’t get as tall as the trees on the other side of my street.
A nearby suburb has Peppermint trees (Agonis flexuosa) as street trees. Old peppermints have gnarled trunks and beautiful weeping foliage and are native to Perth and the south west of WA. I recently found out they are endemic to the southern suburbs only, rather than where I live in the northern suburbs.
I wish tuart trees (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) were planted as street trees, but they grow to 40m so this can be problematic next to houses. The local council plants tuarts in local parks and many parks have these majestic trees which are hundreds of years old.