Street Tree Master Plan

Find out how tree species are selected and explore the long-term plans for our streets.

As a part of the City’s Urban Forest Plan, a Street Tree Master Plan is being developed to help us map our future streetscapes and ensure diversity of tree species across the City.

Although diversity and consistency may seem like opposing ideas, they are both essential in creating a healthy and resilient urban forest.

Tree species diversity

It is important to have different species of trees in order to create a resilient urban forest. By having diversity in the species, it safeguards the future against widespread loss due to pests, diseases, and climate change.

Tree species consistency

This means creating consistent themes within streetscapes. Planting the same species along streets results in:

  • More aesthetically pleasing streetscapes
  • Increases to property values
  • The defined character of an area
  • Management efficiencies.

Did you know?

The ideal tree species diversity cannot be reached overnight. It requires deciding now what tree species to plant in each street for the future.

It is important to remember that street trees are part of the streetscape and not a part of the individual landscaping of each property.

How the plan is being created

How street tree themes are created

To create consistent streetscapes, the City looks at how many trees could potentially be planted within a streetscape, and how many currently exist.  It also measures how many of a particular species exist which helps identify which streets may be able to adopt a new theme to meet diverse needs.

Where there is the ability to change to a new species, the selected species will be used to plant the gaps in the streetscape and to replace any trees that reach the end of their natural life.

In time, this will create a consistent avenue of trees.

Street classification and species selection

The available space and the characteristics (topology) of the street have a strong influence on what species will be assigned to that location.

Street classification

Average widths of verges have been estimated and street types have been assigned to one of the following five classifications:

Classification

Depth range

Extra smallVerge widths under 1m. These streets will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for planting due to their small size. The heights of trees selected for these locations will range between 4m and 10m.
Small-mediumVerge widths between 1.0m and 4.5m. Trees selected for these locations will have heights ranging from 3 to 15m.
Medium-largeVerge widths between 4.5m and 6.5m. The heights of trees selected for these locations will range between 5 to 20m in height.
LargeVerge widths greater than 6.5m. These streets will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for planting and may include more than one row of trees on each verge. Trees selected for this category will range between 7m and 20m in height.
ExtraordinarySignificant roadways such as Beach Road and Stephenson Ave are addressed in localise plans and projects and not as part of the Street Tree Master plan

Other factors

When selecting a suitable species for a street, other factors considered can include: 

  • Street orientation
  • Presence of overhead powerlines
  • Habitat requirements
  • Soil type
  • Proximity to the coast
  • Cultural heritage and character of the area.
Previous SlideNext Slide
  • Street Classification: Extra Small <1mStreet Classification: Extra Small<1m < pan>
  • Street Classification: Extra Small <1m with treesStreet Classification: Extra Small<1m with trees< pan>
  • Street Classification: Small - medium 1.0m to 4.4mStreet Classification: Small - medium 1.0m to 4.4m
  • Street Classification: Small - medium 1.0m to 4.4m with treesStreet Classification: Small - medium 1.0m to 4.4m with trees
  • Street Classification: Medium - large 4.5m to 6.4mStreet Classification: Medium - large 4.5m to 6.4m
  • Street Classification: Medium - large 4.5m to 6.4m with treesStreet Classification: Medium - large 4.5m to 6.4m with trees
  • Street Classification: Large 6.5m+Street Classification: Large 6.5m+
  • Street Classification: Large 6.5m+ with treesStreet Classification: Large 6.5m+ with trees

FAQs

Can the City only plant native street trees?

Verges are constrained by a paved road, a property line, driveways, and, in some cases, powerlines, and often, the original soil has been replaced by clean fill. These characteristics make verges unsuitable for the majority of native trees. Only a handful of local native trees can thrive in these conditions.

Therefore non-native tree species are essential to ensuring adequate diversity and resilience of our urban forest.

We also have to consider that we cater to all residents, with a diverse offering of species.

Why does the City plant gum trees?

Gum trees provide shelter and food for native wildlife and are essential to maintaining our connection to the Country.

Why does the City still plant Brush Box?

Brush Box currently makes up more than 15% of the street tree population. This species is a proven performer in the hostile verge environment, not only in Perth but also in other cities around the world. They were a commonly planted species from the 1940s through to the 1980s.

As a thriving urban forest needs to include adequate tree species and age diversity, the City has reduced the proportion of Brush Box planted each year. 

Brush Box species are now only planted in streets where they are a common theme. This will ensure a tried and tested species use continues while also maintaining the cultural heritage of those streets.

In streets without a high number of these species, they are being replaced by other tree species as they reach the end of their lives.

Why did the City choose a large tree for my street?

Trees provide a leaf surface area in comparison to their size. In this case, a large tree will have more leaves and deliver a greater benefit to the community.