Purpose

The Tree Management Policy provides the principles and requirements for the management and maintenance of trees within the shire to reduce future liability and maintenance costs to Council, reduce the risks to people and property, and improve the scenic amenity.

The complete policy can be view using the following link:

Scope

The policy relates to trees on privately owned land, Council owned and controlled land including but not limited to parks, footpaths and road reserves that may be interfering with, or threatening to interfere with privately owned or Council owned assets.

Objectives

The objectives of this policy are to:

  • Minimise interference with above and below ground utility services, traffic visibility, street lighting, public infrastructure and private structures;
  • Uphold Council’s duty of care and commitment to public safety, including a “good neighbour” approach to managing trees on Council land adjacent to private property.
  • Achieve efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable management of the local government area’s trees;
  • Minimise adverse impacts on trees or significant environmental, cultural or historic value;
  • Provide open and accountable decision making relating to tree management
  • Provide guidance regarding retaining, planting and management of trees;
  • Set appropriate community engagement standards relating to tree management.

Principles

Tree Maintenance and Replacement

All trees go through a natural life-cycle of establishment, growth, maturity, decline and replacement. For trees growing in an urban environment there are times when Council needs to intervene in the life-cycle to address concerns regarding tree health, structure, risks, emergencies, nuisance (as defined by common law) or weed management. The extent of intervention will depend on the species, location, significance and functions of the tree, with most intervention required for trees growing closest to high use areas, Council may consider replacing trees at its discretion.

Retaining trees

Keeping established trees, particularly in areas undergoing a change in land use, is the most cost-effective way to sustain Council’s tree landscape.

Tree planting guidelines

Planting of trees should conform to the trees and powerlines guidelines.

Street trees

The planting of street trees should:

  • encourage high quality vistas that contribute to local streetscape
  • be guided by existing canopy cover density and resident request
  • favour clear trunked, small to medium shade tree species in residential streets to minimise nuisance
  • favour tree species that are not deciduous, do not drop fruit, seed pods, or fronds which may cause blockages to drains and gutters
  • encourage community participation to promote ongoing stewardship

Council Parks and Reserves

Tree planting in Council parks and reserves should:

  • conserve historically significant tree plantings and designs
  • promote shade and amenity at picnic nodes, pathways, spectator areas, playgrounds and car parks
  • use the placement of grouping of trees to minimise maintenance and risk exposure
  • enhance and protect habitats and waterways.

Community Engagement

To help encourage community involvement in establishing and maintaining trees within the Burdekin Shire, Council will:

  • encourage and support partnerships with Landcare, Greening Australia, BBIFMAC, Ergon Energy, National Tree Planting Day, Gudjuda Reference Group, NQ Dry Tropics, and other community organisations
  • encourage partnership groups to consider the ongoing maintenance of any trees they plant and the water supplies needed to support the healthy, long term growth of these trees
  • encourage residents to report sick or damaged street trees
  • include information on appropriate planting selections on the website and with the application form
  • adopt a ‘good-neighbour’ approach to managing trees near property boundaries by undertaking tree maintenance works that address genuine nuisance to the adjacent property owner.

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