Trees, and their protection, have become the focus for many in the community.  It is also just on a year since council reports started recommending the inclusion of trees into their Significant Tree Register. Progress however is glacial – as has been noted several times already by residents and some councillors themselves.

The following dates and numbers have all been taken directly from council agendas/minutes and reveal that the grand total of 68 trees have been added to the register. Of these 68 only 13 are on private land. That makes it a percentage of 19.11%.

At this rate it will take at least another 2 years before the register approaches 200 trees.


16th March 2021 – 7 trees (2 private land)

19th May 2021 – 5 trees (4 private land)

29th June, 2021 – 9 trees (2 private land)

10TH August 2021 – 18 trees (3 private land)

23rd September 2021 – 7 trees (0 private land)

12th October 2021 – 4 trees (2 private land)

3rd November 2021 – 5 trees (2 private land)

23rd November 2021 – 5 trees (0 private land)

14th December 2021 ( 8 trees – 0 private land)

Given council’s acknowledgement that our tree canopy is in free fall, and that the major culprit in this decline rests with private development that removes every single blade of grass, much less any trees, then surely council must reassess its priorities.

Here are a few of our suggestions that would help in getting more private trees onto the register:

  • Lists of nominated trees on private land be assessed before trees on council land – ie this category be given priority number 1
  • The employment of an additional arborist to assist in evaluation
  • Tree register details to be prominently displayed on council’s home page and repeated requests for nominations on a regular basis in Glen Eira News
  • All nominations to receive prompt responses, not as currently the case, up to 12 months later
  • Objections to nominations to be made public and displayed on website so that residents know what is happening throughout the municipality
  • The guidelines for reviewing of objections be updated so that all such objections are decided at a full council meeting and not as the ‘rules’ currently stand, by officers alone. This would be in line with countless other councils’ processes.
  • A six monthly report to council on: number of trees added to the register; number of objections; number of objections upheld and a map showing where new trees have been added.
  • Most important of course, is an amendment to the various schedules for the residential zones. If council is serious about climate change, our urban forest strategy, and the protection of trees, then the schedules have to reflect this. Particular attention has to be paid to: permeability requirements, landscaping, site coverage, underground car parking, etc. Unless this happens, and happens quickly, the same level of destruction will be maintained.