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Council targets climate change with street tree planting blitz

OVER the next four weeks, Wollongong City Council staff have set themselves the challenge of planting 500 new street trees across the Wollongong region.

Council received more than 500 requests for new street trees to be planted on the verge outside properties across the region. To meet the demand, Council is bringing together a squad of staff to plant as many trees as possible in one month.

Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said residents who responded to Council’s call-out for requests for a street tree to be planted on the verge outside their property or in a public space, should expect one of those staff members calling soon.

“Since calling for residents to take on the challenge of caring for a tree in front of their home, we’ve been inundated by responses,” Cr Bradbery said.

“We’re responding to these requests with a tree-planting blitz. It’s wonderful to see so many people get on board this project to green our communities and public spaces.

“As our city grows and climate change increases the heat stress on our communities, we need to plan and plant for the future. Plants and trees are one of the best long-term investments that cool our suburbs, reduce pollution and make our communities healthier and happier.”

Council crews will target street tree requests in central and northern suburbs from June 14 to 25. The blitz in the southern suburbs will be from 7 to 11 June.

The project is part of Council’s Urban Greening Strategy.

“The cooler months are the best time of the year to plant trees as it gives time for the roots to establish before the heat of summer arrives,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Although we’re not taking any more tree requests for the June tree blitz, you can still apply for a street tree outside your house. We’ll add new requests to the list and will continue the planting schedule in the autumn and winter months next year.”

Here are some tips for caring for your new street tree to help it get used to its new home.

  1. Water regularly for the first couple of months

When watering your tree, apply water to the root ball (located directly under the plant) at a slow flow rate. Your tree will need at least 10 litres twice weekly during the first couple of months, then drop back to weekly for another couple of months.

2. Leave the collar around the tree

When Council plants a street tree, it places a protective plastic collar around the base of the tree. This is useful for protecting the tree while you mow or use a whipper snipper. It’s also handy as a water well to help hold and direct water to the tree roots.

3. Don’t place grass clippings on the base of your tree

Please don’t put mown grass clippings at the base of the tree as this can lead to rot at the stem. Council will place wood chip mulch around the base of your tree, and you can top this up as needed.

4. Ask for help

Not everyone is a master gardener. If you think your new tree needs a prune, more mulch or something else, ask for help! You can call Council’s customer service team on (02) 4227 7111 or email council@wollongong.nsw.gov.au and lodge a request for staff to come by and have a look.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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