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Trees

Thousands of trees line streets and parks throughout the Rural City of Wangaratta.

Trees deliver numerous benefits to the environment and community. If you would like to request a tree for your nature strip please contact council on 5722 0888 or email council@wangaratta.vic.gov.au.

Current Tree Population

In May 2017, data for 12,664 public trees was collected in urban Wangaratta to update Councils current Asset Management System. Data collection did not include trees on private property, those in rural towns and roadsides, or located along creeks and rivers and in natural conservations areas.

An analysis of these trees using the program i-Tree Eco, developed by the U.S. Forest Service, has estimated these trees to provide innumerable environmental and economic benefits.

A brief overview of these benefits provided by Council’s street and park trees include:

  • Tree cover of 52.89 hectares;
  • Pollution removal of 1.743 tonnes/year (A$4.67 thousand/year);
  • Carbon storage of 4.821 thousand tonnes (A$110 thousand);
  • Carbon sequestration of 237.8 tonnes/year (A$5.42 thousand/year);
  • Oxygen production of 634.1 tonnes/year;
  • Avoided runoff of 4.967 thousand cubic meters/year (A$11.2 thousand/year); and a
  • Combined structural value of A$62.5 million.

Currently there are over 357 different tree species and varieties planted in Wangaratta’s parks and streets. The most common species over-all being River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) which is locally indigenous, Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) and Queensland Brush-Box (Lophostemon confertus). Of the remaining species, over 55% are native to Australia.

Environmental Benefits of Trees

  • Trees reduce air temperature by blocking sunlight. Further cooling through the process of evapotranspiration; the evaporation of water from the leaves surface;
  • The shading of hard surfaces, such as paths, driveways and roads can reduce heat glare and the resulting urban heat island effect. It can also extend the useable life of the surface;
  • Evergreen trees can decrease wind speed, reducing the wind impact on buildings and the loss of internal heating and cooling;
  • Well placed trees can absorb noise and act as a sound barrier and screen undesired views;
  • The foliage of trees can trap airborne dust and particles, essentially acting as an air filter;
  • They contribute to the local ecosystem providing food and habitat for wildlife;
  • Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful gasses and generate oxygen for release;
  • Trees minimise soil erosion by slowing surface water runoff and the accumulation of sediment in creeks and rivers.

Social Benefits

  • Hospital patients have been shown to recover more quickly from surgery when their room has a view of trees, they also have fewer complaints, painkillers and leave hospital sooner;
  • Trees encourage relaxation and a sense of wellbeing;
  • Trees can define a space and provide privacy and security;
  • Long lived trees provide a link between generations and can be considered living memorials;
  • Greener neighbourhoods tend to have less incidence of violence and vandalism than treeless areas;
  • Studies have documented that exposure to nature can result in slowed heartbeats, lower blood pressure and more relaxed brain wave patterns;

Treed parks and paths encourage outdoor activities, making the area more liveable and                improving the likelihood of regular exercise for the residents.

Economic Benefits

  • Strategically placed trees can cut energy costs for cooling through the shade they provide;
  • Treed streets can increase business traffic in retail precincts and encourage customers to spend more time shopping;
  • Houses in treed neighbourhoods can rise in value up to 15% compared to the same house in non-treed areas; They also sell quicker;
  • They reduce the need for additional infrastructure to filter air, water, pollution and noise
  •  Trees themselves increase in value as they grow.
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