Posted by Scott Hackett on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:27 AM
Climate change is undeniable with rising temperatures and drier conditions causing many of Melbourne’s established elm and plane trees to struggle. Melbourne City Council and Melbourne University recently teamed up, releasing a report advising which trees to plant to better cope with climate change.
Dr Dave Kendal studied tree inventories from 200 countries and selected 875 species suitable for warmer temperatures and sub-tropical climates. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the council commissioned the study after a startling discovery was made when scientists studied temperatures across Melbourne’s greater metropolitan area. “We found that the centre of the city is 5 degrees Celsius hotter than the outskirts,” Cr Doyle said.
In a bid to cool down Melbourne, 3000 new trees have been planted each year since 2012. With this new insight, council will focus on diversifying the urban forest, introducing Australian native species that thrive in sunny, warm climates such as hoop pines, Queensland brush boxes, and Moreton Bay figs. New exotic tree species that cope with warm temperatures and droughts, such as the Algerian Oak, and flowering tree species, will also be planted.
The city’s urban forest strategy costs $1.5 million each year, but Cr Doyle said it was a worthwhile investment. “We are doing a 100 years policy, our grandchildren and great grandchildren will enjoy the urban forest of Melbourne just like we have,” he said.
Learn more about innovative tree solutions for urban forests here.