Exceptional Tree Register


ETR_Front CoverBallarat has a long and proud history of tree planting and is renowned for its extensive and diverse tree population. As the city grows, increased infill developments and subdivisions may have implications for trees throughout the city. Trees on private property and older, larger trees are particularly vulnerable to development and changes to land use.

Launched in 2014, the City of Ballarat Exceptional Tree Register is a formal list of significant trees in the municipality. The Register will identify and assist in the protection of these exceptional trees on private and public land.

Why create an Exceptional Tree Register?

Exceptional trees, both in the private and public realm, are an important and integral community and heritage asset to Ballarat. Many trees are protected under current planning scheme overlays however there is no comprehensive study identifying exceptional trees in Ballarat.

A formal Register identifying public and private trees provides recognition of the amenity, character and cultural value exceptional trees bring to the urban and rural environments.

How will the Register be created?

Assessment of what is considered exceptional can be quite subjective. A process of nomination and registration, followed by evaluation and consideration by a panel, will create the Register.

Nominations may be submitted for the Register at any time. The City of Ballarat is currently assessing over 500 tree nominations already received.


How do I make a nomination?

All residents are invited to nominate public and private trees in the City of Ballarat.

Download the Exceptional Tree Register Brochure to nominate.

Nomination forms are also available at The Phoenix, Armstrong Street South. 


Please forward all nominations to

Email: ballcity@ballarat.vic.gov.au

In person: The Phoenix, 25 Armstrong St Sth, Ballarat

Mail: City of Ballarat, Exceptional Tree Register, PO Box 655, Ballarat 3353.

Who will assess the Register nominations?

An expert panel including a Ballarat City Councillor, arborist, independent expert and community representative will assess nominations and determine the trees to be included on the Register.


What happens after the Register is created?

The City of Ballarat will promote the Exceptional trees whilst providing advice and guidance to ensure their continued good health and survival.

Selection CriteriaTop of document.





1. Horticultural Value

Any tree that is of outstanding horticultural or genetic value and/or an important source of propagating stock.

  • High tolerance to pest, disease and environmental conditions.
  • Propagating potential (commercial value).
  • Scientific value.

2. Location or Context

Any tree that occurs in a unique location or context so as to provide a major contribution to the landscape and/or local place character.

  • Important landmark or focal point.
  • Contribution to landscape (high visibility of tree).
  • Remnant native vegetation.
  • Historic planting style.

3. Rare or Localised

Any tree species or variety that is rare or very localised in distribution.

  • Only known species.
  • Rare species (2 - 50 known specimens).
  • End of natural range.
  • One of few examples of family/genus/species in municipality.

4. Particularly Old

Any tree that is particularly old or venerable.

  • Old specimen.

5. Outstanding Size

Any tree outstanding in size of some capacity.

  • Height.
  • Trunk diameter.
  • Canopy spread.
  • Combinations of above.

6. Aesthetic Value

Any tree of outstanding aesthetic significance.

  • Prolific flowering.
  • Beautiful foliage colour.
  • Exceptional form and/or shape.

7. Curious Growth Form

Any tree exhibiting a curious growth form or physical feature.

  • Curious growth form.
  • Abnormal growths.
  • Fusion of branches.
  • Unusually pruned or damaged.

8. Historical Value

Any tree commemorating a particular occasion, including plantings by locally notable people, or having associations with an important event in local history.

  • Well known public figure or group.
  • Historical occasion or event.

9. Aboriginal Association

Any tree that has a recognised association with aboriginal people, or that is valued for continuing and developing cultural traditions.

  • Scarred tree.
  • Corroboree tree.
  • Canoe tree.

10. Outstanding Example of Species

Any tree considered an outstanding example of its species.

11. Outstanding Habitat Value

Any tree that has outstanding value as habitat for indigenous wildlife.

  • Breeding habitat.
  • Roosting site.
  • Foraging habitat.
  • Provides refuge, shelter or protection.

12. Social, Cultural or Spiritual Value

Any tree that is important to a family, community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

  • Positive community engagement around a particular tree.
  • Cultural association and sense of place linked to a particular tree.
  • Spiritual importance to a group of people.