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Trees & Vegetation

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Trees            

Trees are the most significant form of vegetation used in the urban and rural landscape. They benefit the community and visitors, visually, emotionally and physically, by enhancing and protecting the environment we live in.

Trees are important in that they:
  • Are a council asset, in real and tangible terms
  • Are important for their heritage, habitat and aesthetic values
  • Provide of shade and windbreaks
  • Reduce stormwater runoff
  • Enhance air quality, assist soil stabilisation and control ground salinity
  • Contribute to the environment by filtering dust, absorbing pollution, alleviating visual and noise problems and influencing microclimates
  • Enhance biodiversity and provide fauna habitat
  • Shade houses and cars, therefore reducing energy consumption
  • Produces oxygen
  • Reduces carbon dioxide gas levels by direct absorption
  • Improve property values

Planting Guidelines for Nature Strips & Roadsides      

Where possible, indigenous species will be planted on nature strips, otherwise appropriate non evasive exotic species will be used.

Roadsides outside the urban areas will only be planted with indigenous native species that will provide habitat and wildlife corridors for native fauna.

Tree Planting by Residents

Residents are not permitted to plant trees and shrubs on nature strip, council managed parks and road reserves unless council approval is obtained. Council may remove any such plantings. Where existing vegetation is planted on nature strips, road reserves or council managed land by residents, any unauthorized vegetation will be removed.

Buloke Shire Council - Community Local Law No.10

27. Locating trees and plants and other obstructions

(1) An owner or occupier of land must not plant a tree or plant, allow a tree or locate a tree or plant, fencing, a sign or anything on their property so that it could be an obstruction or so that it obstructs or interferes with pedestrian or vehicular traffic because it:

(a) overhangs a property boundary onto a footpath or other part of the road used by pedestrians limiting safe access or likely to cause injury or damage;

(b) or extends over any part of the road so that it:

(i) obstructs the view between vehicles at an intersection; or

(ii) obstructs the view between vehicles and pedestrians; or

(iii) obscures a traffic control item from an approaching vehicle or pedestrian; or

(iv) obscures street lighting; or

(c) constitutes a danger to vehicles or pedestrians or compromises the safe and convenient use of the road.

 

(2) A tree or plant overhanging a property boundary onto a footpath will be considered to limit safe access for pedestrians or likely to cause injury or damage if it encroaches on

a road because it is less than 3 metres high or a pedestrian cannot continue on a footpath and needs to step off the footpath to avoid trees or plants from an abutting property.

(3) The Council may serve a Notice to Comply requiring an owner or occupier of land to take remedial action to ensure that trees and plants on that person’s property do not compromise safe access for pedestrians using a footpath.¹  

¹ Section 225 of the Local Government Act 1989 provides a power to the council to carry out work if a person fails to carry out work required under a local law and to recover the costs of carrying out the work.

Requests for Tree Removal

All requests for the removal of street trees by residents will be assessed in an objective and professional manner. If a resident has a concern about a tree, they should contact Council’s Customer Service and advice them of their concerns and reasons for requesting a tree to be trimmed or removed. Council will explore all feasible options for resolving problems associated with trees in order to maximise the possibility of their retention.  

The following are not considered valid reasons to remove a tree:  

  • Trees are blocking someone’s view
  • The tree is ugly.
  • Branches grow into adjacent properties
    • Council will prune back to boundary of property.
    • If neighbours tree is overhanging private property, this is a civil matter to be taken up with your neighbours.
  • Trees are dropping leaves and fruit
    • Trees are known to drop leaves and other debris due to seasonal change. Residents can request pruning to reduce the problem, but we recommend the installation of quality gutter guards.
  • Grass will not grow under trees
  • Other plants will not grow under or near trees
  • Trees are causing minor damage to roads and footpaths
  • Tree is dying (if the tree is dead and has environmental value providing it is not a safety hazard, the tree may be retained as a habitat tree).

Tree Removal Criteria 

Trees may be required to be removed by Council for any of the following reasons;
  • The tree is identified as dead, dying, or diseased and represents a risk to public safety.
  • Urgent action is required for public safety reasons such as resulting from storm damage.
  • The tree poses public nuisance because of its species, size, location, attributes, or condition.
  • The tree interferes with the growth and development of a more desirable species.
  • Council approved works around the tree will kill or render the tree a hazard.
  • Unacceptable risk to property.
  • Or any other reasons identified by Council.

Street Tree Restrictions

Trees should be located as per the following criteria;  
  • Plant at least 2.5m from driveways.
  • Plant at least 2m from drainage pits, service pits and fire hydrants
  • Plant at least 3m from power poles, street lights and service wires
  • Plant at least 8m from corners of property boundaries at intersections of minor roads
  • Plant at least 15m from corners of property boundaries at intersections of main roads
  • Plant at least 10.0m from a Stop or Give Way signs.
  • Ensure plants will not obscure or prevent access to signage, mailboxes, gates, lighting and footpaths
  • Don't plant over underground connections
  • Ensure plants will not impede pedestrian access along the roadside.
  • Consider sight lines, speed zones, topography, road layout and space required for rubbish bins.
  • Species of trees planted in streets should be able to be pruned to a single trunk or have a clear trunk of at least 1.5m high for visibility.  

Species not suitable for planting due to toxicity spread of seeds and safety.

 

Shrubs and Trees

Species

Common name

Reason

Acacia baileyana

Cootamundra wattle

Seed spreads

Acacia cyclops

Western Coastal Wattle

Spreads through vegetation

Acacia decurrens

Early Black wattle

Seed spreads

Acacia longifolia

Sallow wattle

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Acacia longifolia var. lonfifolia

 

Spreads out of control

Acacia saligna

Golden Wreath Wattle

Suckers

**Agapanthus praecox ssp. Orientalis

Agapanthus

 

Albizia lophanatha

Cape Leeuwin wattle

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Angophora costata

Smooth Bark Apple

Timber brittle. Limbs break off easily.

Argyranthemum frutescens

Marguerite Daisy

Spreads through vegetation

Cestrum parqui

Green poison berry

Sets seeds – spreads

Chamaecytisus proliferus

Tree lucerne

Seed spreads

Chrysanthemoides monilifera

Boneseed

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Coprosma repens

Mirror bush

Seed spreads

Cotoneasters spp

Contoneaster

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Crataegus sinaica

Hawthorn

Seed spreads

Cytisus scoparius

English broom

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Erica lusitanica

Spanish heath

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Eucalyptus conferriminata

Yate

Falls apart

Eucalyptus lehmanii

Bushy Yate

Falls apart

Eucalyptus platypus

Yate

Falls apart

Fraxinus rotundifolia

Desert Ash

Seed spreads

Genista monspessulana

Cape Broom

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Hakea laurina

Pincushion Hakea

Seeds freely

Lagunaria patersonia

Pyramid tree

Irritates human skin

Leptospermum laevigatum

Vic Tea tree

Seed spreads

Melaleuca armillaris

Bracelt Honey Myrtle

Falls apart

Melia azedarach var. australasica

White cedar

Drops dangerous branches – messy

Olea europaea

Olive

Sets seed - spreads through native vegetation

***Oleander sp.

Oleander

Sap dangerous

Pennisetum setaceum

Fountain grass

Spread everywhere

Pittosporum undulatum

Sweet pittosporum

Seed spreads

Plantanus occidentalis

Plane tree

Messy

Polygala myrtfolia

Myrtle leaf milkwort

Seed spreads

Polygala mytifolia

Myrtle leaf milkwort

Sets seed & spreads through native vegetation

Poplus spp.

Popular

Root system vigorous

Rhamnus alaternus

Buckthorn

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Ricinus rotundifolia

Castor oil plant

Seed spreads

Rosa canina

Dog rose

Suckers spread

Rosa sp.

Roses

Spreads through vegetation

Salix spp

Willow

Seed spreads

Schinus areira

Peppercorn Tree

Seed spread – resprouts if damaged

Solidago canadiensis

Golden rod

Spread everywhere

Tamarix aphylla

Athel pine

Spreads through vegetation

Tamarix ramossima

Tamarix

Stops plants growing around it

Ulex europaeus

Gorse

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation

Vinca major

Periwinkle

Vine which spreads vigorously

***Zantedeschia aethiopica

Arum Lily

Sets seed - spreads through vegetation-sap, poisonous

 

Check Grow Me Instead web site for alternative plants to grow.

Rating

Toxicity

*

Mildly toxic. Mild symptoms may occur if large quantities are eaten.

**

Toxic. Causes discomfort and irritation but not dangerous to life.

***

Highly toxic. Capable of causing serious illness or death.

Common Invasive Garden Escapees of the Buloke Shire

These plants should not be planted anywhere within the Shire as they very invasive and spread easily within the environment.

Species

Common Name

Declared

Acacia baileyana

Cootamundra Wattle

 

Acacia decurrens

Early black Wattle

 

Agapanthus praecox ssp. Orientalis

Agapanthus

 

Agrostis capillaris

Brown-top Bent

 

Alternanthera philoxeroides

Alligator Weed - aquatic

Declared

Aponogeton distachyos

Cape Pond-lily

 

Asparagus asparagoides

Bridal Creeper

Declared

Asparagus densiflorus

(syn. Protasparagus asthiopicus)

Asparagus Fern or Sprenger's Asparagus

 

Asparagus scandens

Asparagus Fern

 

Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon

Couch

 

Egeria densa

Dense Waterweed

 

Elodea canadensis

Canadian Pondweed

 

Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel

Declared

Fraxinus angustifolia ssp.angustifolia

Desert Ash

 

Gazania linearis and spp

Gazanias

 

Genista monospessulana

Cape Broom Declared

 

Grevillea rosmarinifolia s.l.

Rosemary Grevillea

 

Hakea laurina

Pincushion Hakea

 

Juncus acutus

Spiny Rush

Declared

Marrubium vulgare

Horehound

Declared

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Common Ice-plant

 

Myosotis sylvatica

Common Forget-Me-Not

 

Myriophyllum aquaticum

Parrots Feather - aquatic

 

Olea europaea ssp. europaea

Olive

 

Opuntia spps

Prickly Pear

Declared

Pennisetum clandestinum

Kikuyu

 

Sagittaria graminea

Arrowhead - aquatic

 

Salix alba

White Willow

Declared

Schinus molle

Peppercorn Tree

 

Stenotaphrum secundatum

Buffalo Grass

 

Vinca major

Blue periwinkle

 

Zanthedeschia aethiopica

Arum Lily

 

Legislative Status: Plants in the column marked as Declared, are species that have been declared as noxious weeds under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 or Fisheries Act 1995. It is illegal to buy, sell, possess for sale, display, plant or propagate, bring into or transport around Victoria any of these species without a permit. For a list of all Victorian declared weeds visit the Department of Primary Industries website

Buloke Shire Council: 367 Broadway, Wycheproof, VIC 3527 | Phone: 1300 520 520 | Fax: (03) 5493 7395 | Email: buloke@buloke.vic.gov.au

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