They provide shade for our cars on hot days, are havens for birds, make our suburbs look attractive and even add value to our homes. Street trees are an important part of lives and one we generally take for granted. So who looks after our trees and their well-being?

One of the very best people to speak to about street tree planting and management is the City of Cambelltown’s – Manager of Urban Trees & Biodiversity – Henry Haavisto

Why are street trees important?
They help reduce the ambient temperature through shading and cooling, proving a balance from large heat absorbers such as roads and footpaths.
A healthy street tree can add value to your home.
With the changing face of housing – smaller blocks and larger houses, trees are being pushed out of properties and on to the street.

What type of street tree works best?

Definitely one that requires minimum maintenance while still retaining a good shape and provides shade.

What about under powerlines?

Tree selection is even more critical when power is involved. The need to keep trees away from powerlines is a necessary one is stop potential blackouts and fires.
Large trees are constantly needing trimming to reduce their interference with powerlines. The City of Campbelltown has been trialling new tree species with top results.

Wilga (Giejera parviflora) is an attractive small tree, which provides all year greenery. Its graceful pendulous foliage gives it some similarity to the Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow) from a distance. The dense canopy makes it suitable as a screen or barrier planting and as a small shade tree. The fastest growth is achieved in an aspect providing full sun.
Once established they require low maintenance. The branches form strong unions, and are not easily broken. The root system is not regarded as vigorous.

Our street trees are an asset not only to us but our whole community. So if you have a newly planted one, give it a water particularly on those hot days. If you’re looking at planting a tree in your garden, then the botanic gardens online plant selector is a great place to check suitable varieties and growing heights for your area, especially if you’re planting under powerlines.


About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.