Frankston City’s 20 year Urban Forest Policy and Action Plan is working to transform the City’s urban forest into a highly-valued, well-resourced and thriving asset.
Urban forests provide environmental, economic, social and health benefits to the community.
Council currently manages around 62,000 street trees made up of more than 450 species. Our urban forest also includes trees found in our local parks and reserves, as well as those in private residences.
Together, these trees create a 17% canopy cover for Frankston City.
Our goal is to grow our tree canopy cover from 17% to 20% by 2040.
We also understand that tree canopy cover in Frankston City is not evenly distributed between suburbs.
The Urban Forest Action Plan (UFAP) will work to address unequal distribution of canopy cover and plant trees where they are needed most.
There’s an estimated 16,000 vacant street tree sites, providing significant opportunity to increase tree cover across the city.
View or download the Urban Forest Action Plan (2020-2040)(PDF, 12MB)
There are environmental, economic, social and health benefits of a healthy, widespread urban forest.
Cools and shades our cities
Strategic placement of trees in urban areas can cool the ambient air temperature between 2°C and 8°C.
Reduces stormwater runoff
Mature trees can stem the flow of stormwater and improve water quality.
Improves air quality
Large urban trees are excellent filters for air pollutants and fine particulates.
Supports urban biodiversity
Not only does the Urban forest have benefits in providing a richness of indigenous flora, it has been shown to support a wide range of species by providing food and shelter even to endangered fauna and other species of high conservation value (Kendal et al, 2016). It also supports a diversity of plants.
Mitigates climate change
Storing carbon to reduce emissions.
Reducing energy use and costs
Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% per cent and save energy used for heating by 20% to 50% (USDA Forest Service).
Increasing property values
The presence of trees in streets and nearby parks can increase residential property values.
Improving city branding and economic
Green spaces play a role in creating a desirable character and city image, encouraging people to live, work and visit which, in turn, can increase a city’s economic productivity.
Storing and sequestering carbon
Trees can sequester and store up to 150kg of CO2 per year. This is the equivalent of the average monthly carbon emission from one Australian car. Storing carbon reduces emissions that mitigate climate change providing an environmental benefit as well.
Define local identity
Trees can help define a city’s character and identity. Trees provide seasonal interest, food supply and natural beauty through their interesting colours, shapes, textures of bark, foliage, canopy, flowers and fruit.
Improving social cohesion
Access to green space improves various measures of social cohesion including community connection by providing places for events, festivals and celebrations that can bring diverse groups of people together.
Reduced crime rates
Increased urban vegetation has been linked to reduced levels of crime (Kendal et al, 2016) (FAO, 2016).
Physical health benefits
Trees can reduce our sun exposure thereby decreasing our risk of skin cancer. Urban green space also encourages increased levels of exercise and can help decrease blood pressure and stress.
Mental health benefits
Spending time in or near green space has been proven to improve concentration, memory, mood, self-esteem and relieve stress. There is also evidence to suggest that green space could be used for people suffering serious illnesses such as depression, cancer and ADHD in children. (Godfrey Faucett, 2016) (Giles Corti, 2005).
Frankston City’s urban forest is facing many challenges, including climate change, development and funding.
- Continual loss of tree canopy, estimated at 1% loss every four years. This is the equivalent of losing 1.4 square kilometres of tree canopy cover every four years.
- Climate change creating harsher conditions for trees to survive and thrive in.
- Funding and resources that do not yet allow for a best practice tree management program.
- Development and capital works which result in trees removed and not replaced on a continual basis.
These issues, however, pave the way for a series of opportunities for Council to:
- Plant trees where they are needed eg. in areas of social vulnerability to heat, where tree canopy is low, where pedestrian exposure to heat is high such as along footpaths, public transport stops and shared use paths.
- Incorporate a diversity of vegetation such as green walls, green roofs, trees, rain gardens and tree pits within the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre where growing space is limited.
- Plant indigenous species along streets that connect and buffer areas of biodiversity value.
- Plant broad canopied trees within areas of localised flooding issues to stem stormwater flows.
To support the delivery of the Urban Forest Action Plan, residents can request a new street tree to be planted in front of their property.
The planting season runs from May to September each year.
Request a new street tree
To help keep track of our growing urban forest, don't forget to pin your planting on our Community Tree Register.