What is the Town's Urban Forest Strategy?

    The Town's Urban Forest Strategy was a result of a community-initiated and community driven process which identified the need to expand and better manage trees within the Town - on both public and private land.

    The Strategy seeks to increase tree canopy coverage within the Town from 10% (based on 2016 data) to 20%. This will require the planting of up to 256,000 additional trees.

    The Urban Forest Strategy was endorsed by Council in September 2018.

    What is the purpose of the implementation plan?

    1) To set out the actions the Town and community are to undertaken to achieve the UFS’ Strategic Outcomes
    2) To Identify when actions are to be delivered
    3) To inform operational tasks and the Town’s annual budget process
    4) To outline how the UFS’ Strategic Outcomes and the Plan’s progress will be measured

    Why does the Town need an implementation plan?

    The Town's Urban Forest Strategy Implementation Plan articulates how the Town will work with the community to retain more of the trees we currently have, plant new trees and allow all trees to grow to maturity to provide maximum services and benefits. 

    The Town has set a stretch target of 20 per cent canopy cover.To achieve this level of cover the Town needs to contribute significant resources and have a very high level of support from the community.  

    What are the benefits from increasing the number trees in the Town?

    Benefits of an urban forest extend to environmental, economic, community and health outcomes. These benefits are also called ecosystem services. Trees, being the largest structures within an urban forest, provide the greatest ecosystem services. Some of the benefits are listed below.


    • Providing shade and cooling the Town.
    • Reducing air pollution and airborne particulates. .
    • Reducing stormwater and nutrient loads.
    • Storing and sequestering carbon.
    • Biodiversity.


    • Reducing energy costs.
    • Increasing property values.
    • Trees boost business.


    • Providing a sense of place.
    • Food security.

    Public Health

    • Reconnecting with nature for health.
    • Encouraging outdoor activity.
    • Reducing exposure to the sun.

    What are the key strategic outcomes of the strategy?

    There are six strategic outcomes listed in the strategy and plan. These are listed below.

    1. Plant and protect sufficient trees by 2020 to achieve the 20% tree canopy target, as supported by Council.
    2. Maximise community involvement and collaboration
    3. Increasing tree diversity, whilst favouring local endemic and West Australian species that also support wildlife
    4. Maintain high standard of health
    5. Improve soil and water quality
    6. Improve urban ecosystem

    How were the draft actions decided upon?

    The proposed actions are largely based upon the suggested actions which are outlined in the Town's Urban Forest Strategy 

    The  draft plan has been prepared by the Town's Urban Forest Strategy Transition to Implementation Advisory Group (or "Advisory Group" for short!) which consists of both Town staff and community members.

    What is an urban forest?

    An 'urban forest' is the total vegetation within a defined area, comprising trees, plants, grasses and the environment in which they grow. It includes street verges, private gardens, waterways, parks, bushland, community gardens, sumps and other vegetated areas on both public and private land.

    What is canopy cover?

    In forest ecology 'canopy' is the upper layer or crown of mature trees and refers to the extent of shade coverage provided by an individual tree or group of trees. Large mature canopy trees are most effective at providing ecosystem services such as shade, shelter and cooling, oxygen productions, pollution control and drainage solutions, and wildlife habitat especially for threatened black cookatoos (food & nesting).  

    What actions have already commenced or taken place?

    There are a number of actions that have already taken place. You can view these actions in the document library.

    What will happen after public comment period closes?

    1. Community feedback will be reviewed and the draft implementation plan will be revised.
    2. The draft implementation plan will be put forward to the Council for endorsement at the September Council meeting.
    3. An ongoing Urban Forrest Strategy working group will be established to guide the implementation and review of the plan.