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Green Streets celebrates 10,000th tree milestone

Council has celebrated an impressive milestone for its Green Streets program by planting the 10,000th tree in the Sutherland Shire.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce was given the honour of planting the Melaleuca linariifolia, commonly known as Snow-in-Summer, in Glencoe Street, Sutherland alongside local residents.

“Planting 10,000 trees since 2014 is a great achievement by our Green Streets team, who have planted trees in nature strips and on public land right across the Sutherland Shire,” Mayor Pesce said.

“One of the best things about living in the Sutherland Shire is its natural beauty and this is something that our residents’ value and take pride in.”

The award winning Green Streets program has been extremely successful and is an example of how Sutherland Shire Council is leading the way in urban forest management.

“We know that planting unsuitable trees under power lines creates ongoing pruning issues, so we’re making sure any new planting in these areas will be more suitable indigenous trees that will thrive, without growing to problematic heights,” Mayor Pesce said.

“It’s all about planting the right trees in the right places for the long term.”

The Green Streets program aims to improve biodiversity by replacing trees that have been removed or by replacing trees that are reaching the end of their lifetime.

It’s also about enhancing broader benefits associated with trees, such as improving air quality, reducing temperatures in urban areas and creating a sense of place in our neighbourhoods.

A recent study by University of Wollongong researchers has also found that people in urban areas who have more trees within a walkable distance from their home have better overall health and a lower risk of developing psychological distress.

The Green Streets program has been widely supported by the community and Council staff work with local residents to optimise tree locations and species selection.

Matthew and Richelle Gerrard were thrilled that the 10,000th tree was planted outside their Sutherland home.

“It’s so nice to see trees being planted and I like the fact that there has been thought put into the types of trees being planted,” said Mr Gerrard.

“Visually it is so much nicer to live in an area where there are a lot of trees and Sutherland Shire is known for being a green and leafy part of Sydney,” he added.

The Snow-in-Summer tree is one of the many tree species Council plants as part of the Green Streets program. It is locally indigenous to the Sutherland Shire and makes a great street and garden tree because it is hardy, provides shade for pedestrians and has a beautiful and compact shape. It grows from 6 metres to 10 metres and has distinctive and attractive creamy white flowers that will bloom in spring and are loved by local wildlife.

The Green Streets program has won many awards, taking out the Keep NSW Beautiful Award for Environment and Biodiversity in 2015 and the Local Government Award of Excellence in the Environment Award for bringing back the local area indigenous tree canopy.

In July 2019, Sutherland Shire Council’s Green Streets team hosted a conference and bus tour for many other Councils and government agencies, providing education on strategies and the implementation of indigenous street tree planting.

Council has also recently secured four separate NSW Government grants to improve our local tree canopy, building on the success of our Green Streets program, and will be planting an additional 3,000 new trees in Taren Point, Jannali, Engadine and Cronulla over the next 10 months.

Source: Sutherland Shire Council

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