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Melbourne publishes guide to urban forestry

A tree grows in Melbourne. The Australian city has published a ten-step guide to nurturing an urban tree canopy. (Tony & Wayne/flickr/cc)

Need advice on nurturing trees in a metropolitan environment? Urbanalyst reports that Melbourne has published Australia’s first comprehensive guide to growing and maintaining trees in a city.

Melbourne’s successful push to broaden its own urban tree canopy was featured earlier this year in Citiscope. Drought, water shortages and a deadly heat wave spurred the capital of the state of Victoria to take action to blunt the effects of climate change.

The ten-step guide, How to Grow an Urban Forest, is a resource for urban councils across Australia, and could be useful elsewhere. The steps include recognizing community and economic benefits and overcoming potential barriers. Beyond Melbourne, the guide spotlights Adelaide and Port Phillip, Australia; Christchurch, New Zealand, and other cities that have prioritized tree growth.

Melbourne plans to expand its canopy from 22 percent to 40 percent by 2040, Urbanalyst notes. The city plants 3,000 trees a year to induce cooler temperatures. In an effort to engage the public around its forestry initiative, Melbourne has even made it possible to send a tree an email — and get a response (written by city staff).


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