Growing our tree canopy

Thousands of trees are being planted in the City of Ballarat’s largest ever tree planting program. The initiative will more than double the tree canopy across Ballarat by 2040 and help to deliver cooling effects to suburbs with higher summer temperatures.

A new leaf: City of Ballarat Apprentice Horticulturalist Alivia Dyer and Coordinator Parks and Gardens Daryl Wallis.

Daryl Wallis loves being part of a growth industry.

A horticulturalist with the City of Ballarat for more than 26 years, the Coordinator Parks and Gardens is working to green our city with thousands of trees.

“I love what we do in the streets – we hope to bring a smile to faces and we enjoy the look of the city. It’s very rewarding.”

Earlier this year, the City of Ballarat began planting 2,000 trees across Ballarat including 21 streets in Wendouree, 16 streets in Wendouree West, three streets in Miners Rest and four streets in Sebastopol.

Trees were planted at the Miners Rest Community Hall and gardens and at six reserves located in Carpenter Street, Montgomery Street, Bogart Drive, Walton Street, Mount Pleasant and Clover Street.

The City of Ballarat will focus on planting another 2,000 trees in Sebastopol and Delacombe next year and will then turn its attention to planting trees in Ballarat North in 2022.

This major tree planting initiative, which aims to deliver 25,000 trees over the next 10 years, follows a Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance study which identified these suburbs as urban hotspots due to a lack of tree cover.

The study found a direct link with the ‘heat island effect’, where urban areas with less green cover absorb, store and radiate heat due to the lack of mature tree cover in the suburbs.

The planting program aligns with the City of Ballarat’s Urban Forest Action Plan, which has a target of achieving 40 per cent tree cover for Ballarat by 2040, and the Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan 2019-2025.

Daryl says trees not only enhance and cool surrounding streets, they also bring a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits to the entire community.

"Trees provide lots of health and wellbeing benefits, lots of lifestyle benefits, they increase property values, they improve our air quality, they provide shade and cooling because they transpire moisture in the summer-time – they provide cooling in more than one way."
– Daryl Wallis

“The shade from the trees helps roads last longer. There are many benefits in having good tree canopy cover across the city.”

Branching out

The City of Ballarat cares for about 100,000 trees in streets and reserves across Ballarat, with many planted more than 100 years ago.

“We have a great team of arborists here at the City of Ballarat – very highly skilled people who are very dedicated to their work and take a lot of pride in their work,” he says.

Daryl says the Parks and Gardens team plants a range of native and exotic trees.

“Generally the exotic trees we use are deciduous trees. We use them in streets that run east and west generally because in the wintertime, when they drop their leaves, it allows the winter sun into the properties that face to the north.

“Generally, native trees don’t drop their leaves and we plant those in the north to south streets because they provide the greatest shade in the summer afternoons when the sun is over in the west.”

City of Ballarat trees

For Daryl, it’s a privilege to be a part of the City of Ballarat’s largest tree planting program.

“It is very exciting and it’s very rewarding that the trees we plant will last for 100 years or more. We know they will bring real benefit to people’s lives and to the city.”