26 September 2023

Climate change shade grows on trees

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A report into the most suitable trees for the ACT to plant for shade as climate change increases the temperature has recommended yellow box and kurrajongs in its top rankings.

Announced by the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, the Urban Tree Species report undertaken by the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Research assessed 211 tree species used in Canberra’s urban spaces.

Mr Rattenbury said the report assessed and ranked tree species on a range of climate factors including drought tolerance, frost tolerance, extreme heat tolerance, weed potential and allergen potential.

“It’s critical that we design our city to combat the effects of climate change and rising temperatures,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Canberra’s Living Infrastructure Plan, released last month alongside the ACT’s Climate Change Strategy, outlines how we will keep our city cool in a warming climate and sets out how we will increase our urban tree canopy cover from 21 per cent to 30 per cent,” he said.

“Improving our urban tree coverage will not only help to reduce urban heat but will enable more green spaces and increase our natural biodiversity.”

Mr Rattenbury said growing trees in urban areas required careful consideration of location, quality of soil, water access, as well as the trees heights and characteristic to ensure longevity.

“It’s not as simple as just planting more trees.”

He said the report had also recommended that oriental plane trees be used sparingly due to allergenic pollen.

The 80-page Urban Tree Species report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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