Street trees are considered a valued public asset and the City recognises their significance in maintaining long-term environmental sustainability and creating functional aesthetic streetscapes.
Pruning and maintenance
The City of Stirling is responsible for the maintenance of street trees situated within the Crown Land Road Reserve. Pruning is undertaken by qualified tree surgeons in a way to ensure the long-term survival of the trees and protect them for future generations.
The City of Stirling has a planned approach to street tree pruning whereby the City is divided into pruning sectors. Programmed pruning includes lifting the canopies to enable pedestrian movement and allow vehicle vision clearances.
The pruning of trees under power lines is done by requirement and is initiated with Western Power liaison. The City’s contracted tree surgeons work through each sector, selectively pruning the canopies from overhead power lines.
Consideration may be given to reduce the canopy overhang to a property boundary on the request of the adjoining property owner. These individual property-line pruning requests are recorded, and then initiated when the tree surgeons are working through the applicable sector.
The City Council has adopted a Street Trees Policy, which states that street trees will not be reduced in height without justifiable arboriculture cause. The natural shedding of debris such as leaf and fruit drop along with the shading of lawns is part of the normal process of tree growth, and trees will also not be pruned for these reasons.
To find out when your suburb is next scheduled for Street Tree pruning hover over your suburb on the map below.
Planting of street trees
The City of Stirling undertakes an annual tree planting program during the winter months. Residents can request that their property frontage be listed for consideration within the program.
Requested locations are checked just prior to winter to determine the species and amount of trees that can be planted. To maintain unity within the streetscapes, species selection is required to be in accordance with the dominant healthy tree species already occurring within the street or district. The City has a summer watering program and encourages residents to assist with supplementary watering.
Residents may also plant street trees outside of the program providing the species selection is also in accordance with the City’s nominated streetscape theme, and they are correctly positioned within the road reserve.
Street trees can only be planted however where there is sufficient space available for the tree to develop, and some verges may not be suitable.
Applications for street tree planting can be made through the City’s Customer Service Unit on (08) 9205 8555 and the request will be considered within the suitable planting program.
Street tree removal
The City of Stirling recognises the significant contribution made by street trees to both the aesthetic and environment aspects of existing streetscapes within the City. It also recognises that in some cases, tree retention may not be desirable, feasible or reasonable, owing to the condition, location or species of the tree, its implications for development on an abutting site or the achievement of other City objectives.
Owing to the hazardous nature of the task, residents or occupants are not permitted to remove street trees themselves.
Council wishes to avoid removal of street trees except where retention is considered undesirable or unreasonable. In accordance with the Street Trees Policy, street trees will only be removed under the following circumstances:
- The tree is dead or diseased beyond remedial treatment
- The tree has been assessed by the City as structurally weak and dangerous placing the public at risk
- The tree has been irreparably damaged by a storm
- The tree is hazardous to motorists or pedestrians owing to interference in suitable sight lines
- Where the tree has been assessed as being in the way of a development application with no possible alternative being available.
The City of Stirling assesses these requests as part of the standard application process. Applicants should consider that developments are required to have minimal impacts on the streetscape and should primarily design for the retention of street trees.
Street trees will not be removed for the following reasons:
- The tree obscures or potentially obscures views (other than traffic and pedestrian sight lines
- The tree variety is disliked
- The tree variety causes nuisance by way of leaf, fruit or bark shedding or the like
- The tree causes allergy or health problems
- The tree is in the way of a non-essential crossover or verge paving option
- The tree shades private gardens, solar hot water installations or the like.
To further ensure the long-term survival of street trees, measures are also in place under the City’s Local Laws to protect them from vandalism. It is an offence to prune or remove street trees without the City’s authority.