Page 1850 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 April 2009

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(13) What is the overall plan and program, including costs, species and community consultation processes, for replacement of urban forest trees that are either dead or nearing the end of their life expectancy.

(14) What will happen to urban forest trees that are removed.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. The last inventory was conducted over a period of four years from 1996/1997 to 1999/2000. The inventory included suburban street and park trees, but excluded unmown areas, some large parkland areas, many main road verges and the newer suburbs established since 1990. 388,066 trees were included in the original dataset. An inventory of four suburbs as a precursor to the Urban Forest Renewal Program (UFRP) is currently underway.

2. The Australian National University (ANU) conducted the initial inventory whilst specialist contractors are carrying out the current survey.

3. The initial inventory was undertaken to provide base data about Canberra’s urban trees and also information for the development by the ANU of the Decision Information System for the Management of Urban Trees (DISMUT). DISMUT was developed to simulate future growth and ageing of the forest. It was also used to predict and prioritise future maintenance. The outcomes and recommendations of the current survey will be released shortly and will be used as a guide for the UFRP.

4. 630,000 trees.

5. In 2009 the average age of trees (according to the DISMUT model) is 40 years of age. Tree age ranges from newly planted to 95 years. The majority of trees are in the mature/over mature age class (greater than 20 years).


6. In Canberra the life expectancy for planted trees ranges from around 40-80 years of age for deciduous and evergreen trees (depending on species) and around 40-50 years for native trees.

7. Approximately 50:50 exotic versus natives

8. The ACT Government has an Urban Trees Asset Management Plan which was completed in 2005. It is not a public document, but is available if requested.

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