Geelong’s trees have played a key role in the identity and character of the City since 1851 when the then Government set aside 200 acres of bay frontage for the development of the Geelong Botanic Gardens. Since then, Geelong’s trees have continued to quietly play an integral part in Geelong’s liveability, the health and wellbeing of Geelong’s community, its local ecosystems and biodiversity and the character of Geelong’s neighbourhoods and precincts.
The City’s public trees are an important component of Geelong’s urban forest. The urban forest is the sum of all vegetation across the City of Greater Geelong, excluding rural land. It contributes an extraordinary array of social, economic and environmental benefits to Geelong. Public trees, private gardens, remnant vegetation, waterway plants, green roofs and walls are all a part of Geelong’s urban forest.
The Urban Forest Strategy will primarily set guidelines for the management of the City's urban tree network which includes all satellite townships within the Municipality such as Lara, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. It excludes all rural roadways and rural land. The Strategy will also recognise the importance of the private realm and of all open space in Geelong in contributing to the urban forest.
The Strategy will specifically bridge the gap between the existing Council policy framework and the day to day work of the Tree Management Team. It will ensure that some of the goals set in City Plan, the Environment Management Strategy and the Health and Wellbeing Plan link into clear operational objectives to enhance urban greening.
Geelong’s Urban Forest Strategy will:
Set key targets for the performance of the public urban forest.
Provide the framework for building future relationships with private landholders to encourage growth of the private realm urban forest.