Your questions answered about street trees

How often is my street tree pruned?

The City of Casey’s street tree population is pruned on a three yearly cycle in accordance with the Australian Standard (4373) for the Pruning of Amenity Trees. For young trees this can mean much formative pruning in the early years and some cuts may appear radical but rest assured we only work with qualified arborists to undertake this work as there are important considerations for the pruning of street trees such as traffic site lines.

Do I need to care for my street tree?

Council will prune and maintain your street tree however it is fine to water your street tree over the hot summer months. 

Why does my street tree shed leaves?

This could be for a few reasons:

  1. Your street tree could be deciduous; meaning that it sheds all of its leaves in autumn, is bare over winter, grows new leaves over spring and has a full canopy over summer.
  2. Some evergreen trees will shed small amounts during seasonal growth (spring) and during very hot weather trees will shed leaves as a  mechanism for dealing with extreme conditions.

Leaves can be collected and used as mulch on your garden or street tree, added to your compost (in small amounts) or deposited in your green waste bin.

To protect your gutters from excess dirt, leaf and litter build up; a mesh gutter guard will alleviate most problems. Think of this as a screen for your roof similar to a screen door on your house.

I have installed solar panels on my roof and I think the street tree is blocking some of the panels.

If considering solar panels please discuss in depth with the installer the best position on your roof – this should take into account existing structures including street and park trees. Efficiency of solar panels can alter over days of dense cloud cover, periods of bad weather and some shading by trees. Tree shading should not be a significant issue as the arc of the sun changes throughout the course of the day and solar panels will not be in shade all of the time. It is also worth noting that not all panels need to be in full sun for the whole day to efficiently charge and provide energy to your home. 

I can’t seem to grow any front lawn is this because of my naturestrip tree?

  • Lawns are a key component to a home landscape as a whole. A beautiful, well-maintained lawn can enhance a home’s appearance, and its value, as well as provide environmental benefits. 

  • The height of the lawn in shade is critical, the more shade the higher the height of the lawn 75-100mm is common.  Scalping is one of the worst things to do, that is where the mower is set too low or the undulation of the ground causes the mower to cut in and remove all of the green foliage.

  • Mowing in shady areas causes a major setback in the condition of the lawn and therefore should only be done 4-6 weeks in summer and maybe not at all during winter. Don’t mow your lawn just to pick up leaves, this causes stress and takes a while to recover. 

  • Over fertilizing in shady areas burns off all new growth, so only fertilize when lawn is losing colour not when it is thinning out as this is most likely to be from lack of light. Lawn in shade requires less fertilizer than an area that is in full sun, the same applies for water. 

  • Over watering prevents oxygen from reaching the root zone, so only water when lawn is not moist. 

  • Poor drainage causes the soil to become stagnate; soil should be able to breath. 

  • Cool season grasses are much more tolerant of shade than are warm season grasses.  Cool season lawns usually contain a mixture of Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and Fescues.  Look at your local garden centre for a seed blend which includes a mix of these grass types. 

  • Unlike their cool season counterparts, warm season grasses love the heat. Their peak growing time is mid-summer when the temperatures are the hottest. Drought tolerant warm season grasses have the ability to survive on little water during these peak growing times.  If your naturestrip area has little shade consider one of these grass types Kikuyu, Couch or Buffalo.  These types are best established using instant turf. 

I have no street tree in front of my house and would like one planted, what do I do?

If possible Council will plant a tree on your naturestrip however there are some situations that may prevent a tree being planted at your property such as underground services and street corner blocks (we need to maintain site lines for traffic).

Every year in late autumn through to early spring Council undertakes street tree planting across the municipality. This is the best time for trees to establish over the cooler months and gives them the best chance of survival through the following summer. If you would like a street tree to be planted on your naturestrip please call Customer Service on 9705 5200 to have your request assessed and added to the street tree planting register. 

There are insects in my tree and I am not sure if they are supposed to be there, what should I do?

Most insect populations are seasonal and may increase during spring and summer months but will go away in the autumn and winter. The weather can affect and increase certain insect populations however on most occasions they will be moderated by a change in the weather or another insect (predator) e.g. aphids are a favourite food source for ladybirds and caterpillars are often eaten by birds. If the infestation is severe and the tree is in decline please call customer service and a Council arborist will investigate further.

General maintenance

If a Council tree has dropped a branch, appears diseased or dead and if there is a stump that needs removal you can call Customer Service on 9705 5200 and report your concerns. Time frames for tree maintenance requests such as these may alter due to emergency situations as these will take precedent over other issues.

On occasion street trees are removed or pruned without permission or vandalised; please note that these offences are taken seriously by Council and steps are taken to prosecute those responsible.

General enquires

If you would like to more about your street tree such as what kind of tree it is , if it is bird attracting , will it have flowers etc please call the City of Casey Customer Service on 9705 5200.

If you require an arborist to prune your private tree the local newspapers or the yellow pages will give you a selection of professionals to choose from.