Draft Urban Forest Strategy

The City of Canning has developed a Draft Urban Forest Strategy with a vision of creating a resilient urban forest to enhance the liveability and sustainability of the City over the next 20 years and beyond.

The City of Canning currently has an average canopy cover of 7.6%, one of the lowest in the Perth metropolitan region. Increasing canopy cover in these areas will be pivotal for reducing identified urban heat islands, especially in the face of a changing and hotter climate.

The Strategy outlines an action plan with goals for increasing urban canopy throughout Canning by 22% over 20 years, increasing total canopy cover to 9.3% by 2039.

The public comment period for the Urban Forest Strategy has now closed. Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback. The Strategy will go to Council in November. We will advise of the outcome of this Ordinary Council Meeting in due course.

In the meantime you can review the summary document and our Action Plan or the full Draft Strategy.


The City of Canning has developed a Draft Urban Forest Strategy with a vision of creating a resilient urban forest to enhance the liveability and sustainability of the City over the next 20 years and beyond.

The City of Canning currently has an average canopy cover of 7.6%, one of the lowest in the Perth metropolitan region. Increasing canopy cover in these areas will be pivotal for reducing identified urban heat islands, especially in the face of a changing and hotter climate.

The Strategy outlines an action plan with goals for increasing urban canopy throughout Canning by 22% over 20 years, increasing total canopy cover to 9.3% by 2039.

The public comment period for the Urban Forest Strategy has now closed. Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback. The Strategy will go to Council in November. We will advise of the outcome of this Ordinary Council Meeting in due course.

In the meantime you can review the summary document and our Action Plan or the full Draft Strategy.


Please provide us with your feedback on the Draft Urban Forestry Strategy here!

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Great effort to establish a starting point for plan of what is needed to improve the urban canopy. While I note a large amount of achieving the CoC goals is done via increases to the Streetscape and Public areas, there seems to be an acceptance that the canopy associated with the private Freehold will decline as a result of Urban infill. I think the council should also do more to promote and campaign for the retention of often large mature beautiful trees on private land by publicising Amendment 232 - a Significant Tree Registry which CoC established in January 2019, ref16.1.7 . The Before and Afters in Fig24 showed a sad loss of canopy as a result of infill development. The Action / Implementation plan is a lot of consultant speak recommending numerous more "guidelines /Streetscape masterplans and models / develop Engagement Plans / feasibility assessments / develop urban forest branding and marketing plans / incorporating urban forest values ? " etc etc I hope these will be developed into more concrete actions and the CoC allocates suitable and sufficient resources to implement and specifically communicate the progress of this strategy (in the Annual Report) . MurrayR

MurrayR 5 months ago

The draft Urban Forest Strategy looks very comprehensive and we encourage the Council to implement it as soon as possible. We fully agree with the planting of a tree on every verge, especially in front of new houses, and the banning of artificial lawn. More legislation is needed to control how much vegetation and trees are removed by the developer in the building approval process. Planting some kind of tree in the garden should also be mandatory to gain approval.SR

Rob Willis-Jones 5 months ago

As a long term resident in Canning Vale I am very concerned about the continual removal of mature verge trees (and some parkland trees) which is negatively affecting the environment and amenity of the area for all the reasons set out in the Draft Urban Forestry Strategy.Historic aerial photos indicate approximately 1,178 verge trees were installed during development of the residential areas in Canning Vale.Current aerial photos show approximately 418 (~35%) of these trees have since been removed and not replaced.Approximately 1,432 locations are apparent where additional verge trees could be installed. In total approximately 1,850 new trees could be planted to replace those that have been removed and to provide new trees where they were not installed at development. Assuming 1 verge tree per lot could be provided where trees are currently absent, these figures suggest approximately 58% of the 3,213 residential lots in Canning Vale are lacking a verge tree.The City of Canning's officers are to be commended for the detailed research and work in preparing the Draft Urban Forestry Strategy. My family and I are strongly in support of the proposals to plant approximately 61,000 new trees in parks and verges over the next 20 years.Additional comments for consideration are:* Artificial turf in public road verges should be banned (and removed where already installed) as it is effectively plastic waste that must be disposed of at the end of its life, it increases stormwater runoff rather than local infiltration (adding to localised flood risks), increases the urban heat island effect and offers no benefit for insects or other fauna.* Mature trees should not be removed because of complaints about leaf litter, damage to kerbs, footpaths and crossovers as all can be readily repaired. In addition, there should be clear evidence that ongoing damage is the result of a particular tree, (with no viable remediation options) before removal is considered. * Mature trees should not be removed merely for maintenance convenience or without proper evidence of irreversible damage, and removal should only occur after proper public consultation - as verge trees are community (State of WA) assets, being in public road reserves, and are not the property of adjoining owners.* Mature street trees should only be removed as an absolute last resort in instances where they are causing damage or are dangerous.* New street trees should be species that have significant canopy cover to maximise shading and its associated benefits. * New street trees should be of species that have a clear trunk (no low foliage) to maximise passive surveillance and visibility for vehicles.* Native species should be preferred, but suitable alternatives should also be considered.* Replacement / new trees need to be maintained as a lack of pruning can result in multiple trunks and a bushy habit, potentially leading to obscured lines of sight over time.* It may be that some land owners do not see verge trees as a positive, despite the weight of evidence which suggests they are of significant value for aesthetic, environmental and economic reasons. It would therefore be appropriate that increased public awareness of the many positives associated with verge trees should be promoted by the City in order to protect the remaining trees and promote the installation and protection of additional trees. This is noted in the Draft Urban Forestry Strategy but is a critical point as public support is essential for a successful result.* Council incentives could be considered for quality verge maintenance. For example, Council could offer prizes or a rates discount for the best verge in each suburb on an annual basis or a small rates discount could be offered to all lot owners where verges are maintained to a basic standard. Incentives like this could assist in promoting community pride and help to reduce the number of verges that become a sand pit because of excessive car parking and lack of maintenance by lazy abutting landowners.* Funding the proposed 61,000 additional trees should not result in rates increases.Thank you to the staff involved in preparing the Draft Urban Forestry Strategy, you have done a great job for the community you serve.

Archer 5 months ago

Urban forest strategyI commend the city for this detailed document.In combination with the local biodiversity strategy and the street tree strategy the result would:• Increase biodiversity• Provide much needed corridors for fauna movement across the city• Reduce the urban heat island effect• Transform the city into a green leafy area rather than one fast becoming bereft of flora.Please include Banksia integrifolia in your plantings. They are a great food source for honeyeaters and Carnaby’s cockatoos.Grecian.

Grecian 5 months ago

Pleased to see this is being addressed and the draft is a good start. Already in the public domain are the environmental and health benefits of trees and these benefits are becoming more important in these changing times. The sterility of treeless neighbourhoods must be avoided.I would like to see the draft provide:- more protection for existing native tress on public and private land;- obligations on developers to provide tree cover;

Madeline 5 months ago

Great to see the City of Canning both developing an Urban Forest Strategy as well as consulting the community. The latter is also a great way to learn from other’s knowledge and experience. As such, I have enjoyed reading contributions.Heat island effect and loss of biodiversity are realities we as residents and ratepayers must respond to. Good to see the strategy focussing on light industrial areas as well as residential though I would like to see all property owners making a positive contribution (i.e. via actual plantings and maintenance of gardens) to achieving the change on the ground or ‘outcome’ that is needed.The alignment with relevant strategies, plans and guidelines (e.g. Local Biodiversity Strategy, Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan) is welcomed and important to reduce confusion as well as to ensure that actions relating to one strategy or plan are not negating objectives of another.Regards, Colma

ColmaK 5 months ago

As @jackbrat1 mentioned - getting the powerlines underground and providing street trees is a great way to increase greencover. There is plenty of open channel stormwater drains. If we could line both sides of these drains with trees where possible and shrubs and bushes on the narrow side, we can increase the green-cover and cool the surrounding areas. This with greenery in the industrial areas such as Cannington, Welshpool and Canningvale would further increase the urban forest. Basically Fig 8 in Summary Document is your answer. I understand local school and volunteer groups are involved in tree planting programs. Maybe motivate and harness these groups along with residents to plan more trees in the area. I would love to see this plan in action and a greener future.

canres 5 months ago

One of the best ways to increase street tree canopy cover is to get the power underground. Look at all the suburbs with avenues of leafy trees and they inevitably have underground power.

jackbrat1 5 months ago

Much of a sales pitch, though slightly better balanced than others that I’ve read. Unfortunately, it screams higher rates, more council workers, more council expenditurePurchase property for community gardens, supply free food to the needy and use the funds from the sale of fruit and vegetables to purchase supplies. Similar to Perth City Farm. One of the most common causes of neighbour disputes are trees, surely more trees would increase neighbourhood disputes. This will have an adverse effect on mental health. The pollen/allergy risk has been under-estimated. I also do not understand how more trees can reduce crime 4.3.2.1, as criminals would be less visible. Pity, I did not know about the survey, I would have liked to have participated. Please address 4.3.1.3 in more detail. This is important as the costs need to be evaluated and projected in real terms and figures, with the implementation of the strategy. I also don’t think that the topic has been fully researched.

RD 5 months ago

Some great ideas here, fully agree with a ban on artificial lawn. Don't expect many to replace artificial lawn with real, well maintained lawn, but a good alternative would be the city offering free natives as an alternative. We recently replaced our lawn with pea gravel and a selection of natives and have no regreats. Looks more natural and yard is full of birds. Also agree with sinking powerlines. Gerard St is lined with Jacarandas that never have had a chance to grow to their full potential as they've been planted directly under powerlines. If money is spent on trees, spend it wisely. Also agree fully with Caroline's comments. Seeing an entire block of mature eucalypts cleared was devastating, more needs to be done to reduce how much a block can be cleared for development. Developers should learn to build into the environment, not over it.

Gazz 5 months ago

I totally support the Urban Forest strategy and am pleased to see the inclusion of what happens on private property. As well as regulating and encouraging people to build smaller houses and plant more trees, more needs to be done to stop the wanton destruction of existing old growth trees when blocks are cleared for development.

susanmoir 5 months ago

Good to see the Urban Forest strategy being actively discussed and hopefully put in place. Noted the biggest contributor to the plan being "Streetscape" and have the following 3 inputs that might be of use:1.0 Consider having a Canning Centre for Trees and Vegetation (CCTV) that can serve as a one stop shop for plant seedlings, information on various trees and how they may be planted for best results, virtual trees to visually how the streetscape can change with additional trees, help in getting Apps that can identify trees, and other services that will help create better understanding and interest around trees and vegetation, showcase ideas on urban forestry, information on stakeholders in urban forestry etc. Centre may be tagged to existing places already frequented by Canning ratepayers, like REC centers, parks or in the vicinity of Council Office.2.0 Expedite the removal of electrical poles and wires from Streetscapes to allow for more trees to be planted, with a positive improvement to the property values in the street. Part of existing program to have electrical cables underground.3.0 Encourage the relocation of mature trees where feasible especially from areas slated for development or re-development. Maybe if a price point of about $500 per tree may help create the interest . Work with local business that may already be or willing to do this. KT Lim

KLim 5 months ago

I believe that this is an excellent plan that will create an organic and appealing environment. I particularly like the idea of ‘a tree for every verge’ (2.2. - Draft Action Plan) as street trees will add to environmental conservation in addition to providing a calm atmosphere, encouraging positive mental health. I also agree that we should ‘reduce the building foot print’ (2.8). Recently, there has been a lot of land clearing in industrial areas. Land clearing increase the temperature of the environment, reduces the value of the top soil, increase soil erosion and reduce the amount of ground water retained in the soil. Although I am not against the initiate to ‘support … trial species’ (3.1 – 3.2) I also believe it would be advantageous to support the existing/current species. These plants are already adapted to the environment. If the current species are at risk of survival then the cause (or pollutant), putting them at risk should be identified.

mwbncrltd 5 months ago

Rule out artifical grass.Ensure all new developments have 1, 2 or 3 tress planted on it.Assist current estates with planting of new trees.Look into a network of sunken electric cables so that trees can grow unhindered with the additional benefit of less maintenance from fallen pylons and power outages. In-fill that requires trees to be cut down needs to be regulated - perhaps by getting them to foot the bill of transferring said trees to another area. Grown trees after all provide more canopy that a newly planted tree.

Dodger 5 months ago

Although trees provide shade in summer, they block heat and light in winter. In winter those with joint and circulatory problems especially need warmth from the sun. Winter is also the time when we need the sun’s heat to dry clothes and provide heat to our homes. Therefore, we need to be mindful and respectful of others before planting trees.Planting trees in the middle of narrow streets can be dangerous, when cars are parked in the road. Tree leaves do block gutters and drains, trees may damage structures and are costly to maintain, leaves can be a fire hazard, thus better planning and selection is required before planting trees. I would favour more grass, scrubs and flowers (which add colour), shorter trees and more evergreens on verges in Canning.Solar is the way to go. Solar panels on the roof, insulate the roof from the sun’s heat in summer and help prevent heat escaping in winter. An average solar system could provide the equivalent of around 50 trees in helping prevent greenhouse gasses. Solar can provide substantial power savings. Please read https://newenglandcleanenergy.com/energymiser/2015/09/24/tree-math-2-solar-vs-trees-whats-the-carbon-trade-off/

MichaelD 5 months ago

Heres an idea: Create a small sunken garden/picnic area with lots of trees and bushes, seats, sculpture and some play equipment on the open space at the corner of Pinetree Gulley and Burrendah Blvde-without compromising the oval area.Being in a town site environment ,Im sure it would be popular.

Diggin 5 months ago

I feel developers are not enforced to plant a tree for every house they build. Also I am very concerned that because of smaller blocks very few trees are planted that grow big. I would encourage council to make sure trees in parks that are planted and replaced still include a lot of species that grow Big! As birds have no protection from cats in little low trees. Also so many business and industrial areas have very few trees. I am sure the workers would love to sit under trees in their work breaks.

norma allen 5 months ago

The plan looks like a great start. Ambitious but with a lot of planning and designing and decision making to do. I hope you can keep the momentum and get everything signed off and actually started asap.I am pleased to see lots of new roadside trees being planted around Canning this Winter. Thanks also for my new street trees. Some more ideas....- Trees should be compulsory not just in residential streets but around shops and businesses and car parks and train stations.- do a mail drop again to encourage street tree uptake or do an opt out program - replace dying trees e.g. on Fern road- high density housing should still require developers to plant trees- new houses should require street trees. There are many new houses in my street and none have trees and they even tore down existing trees when building/subdividing- areas of new development should include street trees in high numbers e.g. at least two per house and more for car parks and median strips etc

messiahy 5 months ago

T wish to suggest a few ideas, which may have already been noted:Verge tree, do not ask residents if they want one, just plant them. Include assistance with planting out verges with vegetables etc, check for hazardsNew home/developments - no concrete verges, dust bowls,developers must incorporate green area, in Europe this is the normDoes the City have its own horitcultual department, not just Parks and Gardens. Yake on Horticultual apprecntices, build the standard and become a leader.A number of years ago whilst managing Willetton Library I instigated a 'free seedling'day for Canning residents - when they visited the library, the four libraries participated and it was a great success. Finally I am pleases to live in Ferndale, the river and treees are appreciated every day. No more developments like the old Lynwood Arms Hotel development,everything not to allow. Dr Helen Brown Curtin University April 12 2019 UrbanHeat is killing us. Kinlock School site must be developed with consideration for the mini forest already in place, it could be world class with care and smart thinking.

Colleen Edmeades 5 months ago

It is pleasing to see the City is taking long overdue action to remedy the lack of canopy coverage throughout the Canning. Following Figure 1 - Thermal Imagery - the areas indicating high temperatures are not a surprise. Indeed, if Canning did not have the river, the area of high temperature would be certainly increased. I feel this concern of lack of urdan greenery has been discussed in years previous, with little positive response to show: whenever a building our land is cleared for development - concrete is the only replacement. Prime example of this is the previous Lynwood Arms Hotel site, no trees, high desity , no eaves and so on. An lesson in what should not be allowed, ever.Dr Helen Brown, Curtin University has researched extensively on the adverse effects of urban heat, our health and well being suffer greatly. Refer to Dr Brown's theses April 12, 2019, Urban Heat is a killer.When we moved to Ferndale 43 years ago, many of the original trees were incorporated into the land blocks, our street and home site still retains original treees.Fears are held for the former Kinlock Primary School site on Latham Road Ferndale. The trees are well established, many many years old, providing the buffer against heat and noise, plus habitats for birds and other fauna. Just for once, can thinking and planning incorporate this already thriving green site?I do commend the work undertaken by all involved in this Urban Forest Strategy, may their efforts bring positive change.I wish to take this opportunity to suggest a few ideas [which may have already been noted]:

Colleen Edmeades 5 months ago