More urban vegetation? Fat chance ... Trees Can Curb Urban Heatwaves ... Heat is on Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney


Active member
"Tree cover in Australia’s capital cities declined in every capital city except Hobart between 2013 and 2020, according to the report."

Increased urban vegetation won't happen for many reasons including water costs and garden waste removal costs.

The problem is that the owners of trees and other vegetation including lawns bear the costs of water and waste removal while the whole community benefits. Homeowners bear the costs of broken reticulation and damaged grassed verges when the councils do nothing about people who park and drive on verges.

Also, tall trees close to houses affect solar power systems. Their roots also occasionally cause problems with underground services.

That's why concrete and brick paving are replacing lawns and shade sails are replacing trees. That is why homeowners are allowing grass verges to degenerate into bare dirt and weeds.

I personally have a 360 degree planted garden around the house with more than 10 trees towering above the house. Yes its expensive to get the trees trimmed and especially to remove dead trees which happens from time to time. Yes, the garden does produce a microclimate and the estate I live in is well treed which does cause a widespread microclimate in the estate which is cooler than surrounding areas. I water the garden for 30+ minutes every morning.

Trees Can Curb Urban Heatwaves
The heat is on Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney to increase urban vegetation and prevent scorching summer temperatures.

Regions with higher levels of vegetation are cooler regardless of population density, according to Monash University’s temperature check report.

Researchers compared Sydney’s Liverpool city with a population density of 774 people per sq km to the Northern Beaches with 1076 people per sq km.

They found the Northern Beaches with 63 per cent green cover only experienced a 1.1C heat change across the region.

Meanwhile Liverpool had 4.1C more heat in some areas as a result of a so-called urban heat island and only 33 per cent vegetation cover.

Urban Heat Island effect

Urban Heat Island effect: Source: Temperature Check - adapted from City of Parramatta material
^Source: Temperature Check - adapted from City of Parramatta material

Tree cover in Australia’s capital cities declined in every capital city except Hobart between 2013 and 2020, according to the report.

The report, released by the Australian Conservation Foundation, found temperatures could regularly reach 40-50C in cities in a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island effect in the next 30 years.

However, these projections are not that far away —in Penrith last year temperatures soared to between 45.6C and 48.9C in suburban versus vegetated areas.

Capital city green infrastructure

Capital city green infrastructure ^Source: Temperature Check via Hurley, J, et al. 2020
^Source: Temperature Check via Hurley, J, et al. 2020

Monash University report co-author Lucy Richardson said tree cover reduced the economic burden of heat-related impacts and the heat differences across cities.

“Heatwaves kill more Australians than any other natural disaster and these will get more severe as our climate continues to change,” Richardson said.

“Protecting and expanding urban vegetation is good for human health and wellbeing, reduces heat-related deaths, creates jobs and helps combat climate change by absorbing more carbon dioxide from the air.

“Our research shows increasing urban vegetation will become essential for our three largest cities—Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane—to reduce serious heatwave impacts by 2060-2080.

“Natural infrastructure takes time to establish to its maximum effectiveness, so acting early is critical for meeting future needs.”


Head Honcho 💉💉
Staff member
Tree planting is a simple thing that can be done. Native trees cut down on watering needed.

There is a nice crab apple variety that grows high and stays slim, does produce small but nice crabapples—can always let the birds have them. Alternate with flowering cherries and grevilleas.


Staff member
I don't want trees within 5 meters of my house, pool, retaining walls or outbuildings. For about 4 months of the year I scoop out about 60ltrs of leaf material from my pool WEEKLY ... and I have't any trees in my pool area. They're all the neighbours trees and they overhang my fence and pool. I'd lop them but they're about 7m high ... I can't get to them.

Meanwhile all the tree's on their property that overhung THEIR pool they got rid off..... Farkin wankers


Head Honcho 💉💉
Staff member
We are talking about street plantings. But I know where you are coming from, had to sweep and sweep the footpath in front of my shop all fucking year round!


Wonder woman
I am slowly becoming surrounded by small-lot developments. Not within sight, but close. Too close.

But I will hang here as long as possible. The old giants and the newer stuff and the bio-diversity NEEDS ME.



Head Honcho 💉💉
Staff member
After my visit to the Magpie Springs winery yesterday, where we were surrounded by fine trees and birdsong I reckon my new block might be largish, 4000sqm maybe with 2500sqm given to natives: lemon (or whatever local) eucalypt, grevillea etc, chosen to attract native birds. This will mean moving to an area I would otherwise not chose. Be nice tho.