How to Calculate Urban Tree Canopy Cover

By: Richard J. Magill, Magill & Associates, Inc.

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Melbourne’s CBD Trees Receive Thousands of Love Letters

Melbourne’s CBD Trees Receive Thousands of Love Letters:

They say happiness is receiving an unexpected love letter. Such is the case for Melbourne’s CBD trees, who recently became the unexpected recipients of thousands of love letters from residents in Melbourne and around the globe.

As part of the Urban Forest Strategy, an initiative to combat the decline of Melbourne’s urban forest, the city assigned all of Melbourne’s 77,000 trees individual email addresses. The idea was that residents would use these emails to report trees that had been vandalized, appeared to be suffering disease, or posed a safety hazard to the community.

However, residents quickly started using the email addresses for another purpose – writing love letters to their favourite trees. The Chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Counciller Arron Wood, said the response was an unexpected but welcome surprise, “It is unbelievable, we have now received over 3000 emails from all around the world — there have been people from Russia, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, Britain and Hong Kong all confessing their love for trees in Melbourne.”

Here’s a sample of the love letters received:

Weeping Myrtle, Tree ID 1494392
Hello Weeping Myrtle, I’m sitting inside near you and I noticed on the urban tree map you don’t have many friends nearby. I think that’s sad so I want you to know I’m thinking of you. I also want to thank you for providing oxygen for us to breath in the hustle and bustle of the city. Best Regards, N.

Golden Elm, Tree ID 1028612
I used to think you were the Magic Faraway tree when I was a child. Now that I’m an adult, I still look forward to seeing you as I come around the bend after a tedious crawl down Hoddle Street.
A loyal friend always there waiting to say hello.

Variegated Elm, Tree ID 1033102
Dear Elm, I was delighted to find you alive and flourishing, because a lot of your family used to live in the UK, but they all caught a terrible infection and died. Do be very careful, and if you notice any unfamiliar insects e-mail an arboriculturist at once. I miss your characteristic silhouettes and beautifully shaped branches — used to be one of the glories of the English landscape — more than I can say. Melbourne must be a beautiful city.
Sincere good wishes,

Golden Elm, Tree ID 1037148
Dear 1037148,
You deserve to be known by more than a number. I love you.
Always and forever.

Mr Woods said while the emails are encouraged, the team can only reply to authentic requests. “The whole point of the project was it would be no cost to council, so we have to ensure people aren’t wasting tax payers’ money to reply to all the love letters. With that said, it’s great that this has been effective in spreading a very important message.”

You can email your favourite tree at

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