Winter street tree planting program under way

Published: 14 Jun 2017 9:26am

From the suburbs to the CBD, Wagga Wagga will soon be home to more than 60,000 street trees.

The City of Wagga Wagga’s annual winter planting program is underway until the end of June, with staff working their way through this year’s batch of 550 new street trees.

Commercial Operations Sector Manager Caroline Angel said it’s important the right tree is planted in the right location – with everything from power lines to summer shade considered.

“Our street tree strategy and master plan helps inform staff about which species are planted and where,” she said.

“The strategy talks about things like geographical and ecological features of areas of the city, which helps us decide which species grow best for what suburbs.

“We look at power lines, what’s on the other side of the street, we look at sun and shade and environmental factors like soil type.”

Street trees are one of Wagga Wagga’s most important assets during summer, helping combat the “heat island effect” caused by bitumen and buildings.

“In a city like Wagga we have hot summers and cold winters so we like our sun in winter with deciduous species, but we love our shade in the summer,” Ms Angel said.

“Roads and buildings retain a lot of heat and trees help alleviate that, so these annual plantings really add to the liveability of our city. Street trees also benefit the local habitat by providing a green corridor for birds and wildlife, as well as beautifying our community.”

Trees planted this year include a mixture of species. Native plantings include eucalypts, water gums, bottlebrushes and melaleucas; while the exotics are ash, ornamental pear, oak, and elm trees, Chinese tallowwood and crepe myrtles.

Trees are purchased from quality nurseries and staff ensure the new plantings are well-looked after until they are established. The trees are watered every month during summer for the first two years and are also pruned regularly to ensure they become a longstanding part of Wagga’s impressive “treescape”.

Residents can contact Council on 1300 292 442 to request for a street tree in their neighbourhood.