Trees and Green Infrastructure

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‘Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.’ – Warren Buffet, Investor

More than just beauty, trees and green vegetation play an important role in the well-being of our community.

City of Hobart’s trees are cared for by professional arborists who are qualified to assess and maintain an annual planting program of street, park and bushland trees and associated assets . 

The City has authority over specific trees on private property where they are afforded protection under the Significant Trees Code of the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015

The City may further control (the removal of) trees on private land under the Zones and other Codes of the planning scheme. 

In addition to the 2015 Planning Scheme, our tree management is guided by the City of Hobart's Street Tree Strategy 2017

On this page:

 

City of Hobart's Street Tree Strategy 2017 

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Hobart is a City where tree-lined streets are a valued component of our quality of life – achieved through excellence in planning, design, installation and care by the City’s workers and our community. Street Tree Strategy, vision statement.

The development of the City of Hobart’s Street Strategy was undertaken with support of community consultation, an audit of city trees and practices and topical research. 

The strategy guides the planting and management of the City’s public trees, and sets an ambitious target to increase the canopy cover across the City’s urban areas from 16.7% to 40% by 2046.

 

Benefits of trees

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Trees provide benefits which are readily apparent, such shade and improving the appearance of an area. Research demonstrates that there are benefits that are not as readily evident that make trees essential for the functioning of cities:

Environmental benefits

Trees cool the local environment by providing shade and transpiring- taking up water from the soil and releasing it into the air. When it rains, their leaves, bark and branches hold some of the water in the canopy, slowing it down and reducing the amount of stormwater in the system. Trees take in carbon and produce oxygen while also providing habitat and food sources for animals.

Economic benefits

While there is a cost to installing and maintaining a tree population, the costs are compensated for by other economic returns. Streets with high canopy cover have higher property values and shading of buildings reduces energy costs. In shopping districts with large trees customers tend to linger longer and spend more. While damage to infrastructure is often attributed to tree roots, the shade cast by trees can increase the life of infrastructure by reducing the impact of solar radiation.

Community benefits

The link between trees and other greenery and human health and well-being is well established. Trees and greenspaces provide a connection to nature which is otherwise lacking in urban areas. This reduces stress levels, improves attention and generally improves mental health. Treed areas positively influence physical activity and reduce sun exposure. They provide seasonality, a sense of place and scale to urbanised areas.

Tree management

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The City of Hobart manages approximately 18,000 trees across its streets and parks, with many more in bushland reserves. The tree population is a collection of indigenous self-sown trees and trees that were planted from over 150 years ago to this year. This represents a large cultural and economic living asset.

Remnant native vegetation

If you are a landowner who voluntarily protects native vegetation of significant conservation value, you may be eligible to receive a rates rebate.

The patches of native vegetation (known as remnants) that have not been cleared over the 200 years of European settlement can be highly significant from a biodiversity conservation perspective.

If you wish to find out more about this program, visit our rate rebate scheme for native vegetation page.

 

Community engagement 

Our tree care team are trained and qualified to undertake routine assessments of public trees. Trees are assessed for their health, growth habit, structure, stability, growing environment and clearance requirements from infrastructure such as roads and powerlines.  

The City of Hobart recognises the right of the community to be informed and have input into decisions which affect their lives. Trees in streets and parks are owned and managed by the City for the benefit of the entire Community. While street trees are not owned by the resident of the adjacent property the City recognises that people can feel very strongly about ‘their’ street tree and is committed to informing adjacent residents when a street tree is proposed for removal.

Trees that are identified as immediately hazardous will be removed as a priority and it may not be possible to inform adjacent residents of urgent works.

Significant trees

The City has spent many years identifying significant trees within our community, and listing them with a Significant Tree Register. It was done to recognise the use, character and value that garden and street trees contribute to the urban environment. 

The Register includes photographs of trees, a location map and a description of its significance. For more information on the Significant Tree Register visit our Significant tree page.

Overgrown vegetation

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Overhanging vegetation can pose a problem for pedestrians and motorists. 

Property owners are responsible for ensuring that vegetation, including any tree, hedge or shrub doesn’t extend beyond their boundary and encroach onto public footpaths and public right-of-ways, or obstruct the view of motorists.

Private trees

The City of Hobart does not inspect or undertake works on trees growing from private property. The management of private trees is the responsibility of the property owner. 

If you have a question about tree or vegetation removal on private property please phone 03 6238 2715 and ask to speak to a Development Appraisal Planner or email coh@hobartcity.com.au.

If you have a concern relating to a tree on your neighbour’s property we recommend you speak with them directly about it. More information can be found in the Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Bill 2017.

More information may be found on our Overgrown vegetation page or you can also view our Frequently Asked Questions. 

Street Tree Planting Program

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The City of Hobart Street Tree Strategy 2017 aims to increase trees from the current 16.7%  canopy cover to 40% by 2045 in the City's urbanised areas. In order to meet this target, the City has developed the street tree planning program that will guide tree planting across the city for the next five years.   

An engagement survey was conducted between January - March 2019 seeking nominations from the public for future tree planting locations. This engagement is currently under review. Results will be added to the Your Say Hobart: Tree planting program in the second half of 2019. 

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  1. How are trees inspected in the City of Hobart?
  2. How soon will a tree be inspected?
  3. What if it is an urgent tree inspection?
  4. Will you remove a tree that is blocking my view, sunlight or dropping leaves in my gutter?
  5. Will the City prune trees close to the power lines, phone lines or NBN lines?
  6. Can I plant a tree on my nature strip?
  7. Can I have a tree on my property inspected?
  8. I want to remove a tree on my own property- is a permit required?
  9. I have a dispute with my neighbour about a tree- what can I do?

 

1. How are trees inspected in the City of Hobart? (back to questions)

We proactively inspect trees within the City of Hobart’s streets and parks on a cyclic basis. If we notice that any work is required during these inspections we will inform surrounding residents who may be impacted by the works.

We also inspect Council trees on request by the public- please call us on 03 6238 2886 or email coh@hobartcity.com.au

 

2. How soon will a tree be inspected? (back to questions)

Once we have received a request to inspect a tree we will attempt to inspect the tree within 2-3 weeks and we will email or call you with the outcome of the inspection. If it is an urgent request we will attend to it promptly. 

To request an inspection, please call us on 03 6238 2886 or email coh@hobartcity.com.au  

 

3. What if it is an urgent tree inspection? (back to questions)

If you see a City-owned tree that poses an immediate risk to public safety please contact us on 03 6238 2886 and we will inspect it urgently. Examples of urgent inspection requests are trees with:

  • broken branches which are likely to fall on to the road, footpath or driveway,
  • trees which are suddenly leaning, have recent cracks in the soil or have roots coming out of the ground,
  • trees with recent cracks and splits through the trunk, or
  • fallen trees on public land that are blocking an access way.

 

4. Will you remove a tree that is blocking my view, sunlight or dropping leaves in my gutter? (back to questions)

The City will not consider the removal of a tree to reduce the amount of leaf/flower/fruit drop, increase views or solar gain, where there is competition for gardens or where there is a preference for an alternate species.

 

5. Will the City prune trees close to the power lines, phone lines or NBN lines? (back to questions)

The City is not authorised to prune trees that are touching or very close to power lines. If a tree is interfering with power lines please contact Tas Networks directly on 1300 127 777.

 

6. Can I plant a tree on my nature strip? (back to questions)

Residents cannot plant trees on their nature strip unless a prior arrangement has been made with the City of Hobart. If you would like to have a tree planted on your nature strip please contact us on 03 6238 2886 or coh@hobartcity.com.au.

 

7. Can I have a tree on my property inspected? (back to questions)

No. The City only undertakes inspections on City-owned and managed trees.

 

8. I want to remove a tree on my own property- is a permit required? (back to questions)

A planning permit may be required to remove a tree on private property if it is a listed Significant Tree or if there is a planning scheme overlay (such as Heritage or Biodiversity Protection). You can speak with the duty planner in the City Planning team by calling 03 6238 2715.

 

9. I have a dispute with my neighbour about a tree- what can I do? (back to questions)

This is also a civil matter between you and your neighbour and the City is not in a position to provide any legal advice. We recommend that you speak with your neighbour regarding your concerns. You may wish to review the resources on the Department of Justice’s website regarding the Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Act 2017.