Trees provide more than shade. Some other benefits include:
- managing stormwater
- encouraging exercise
- improving mental health
- increasing property value
- cooling our city
- promoting biodiversity
- filtering carbon dioxide
For more information see our Tree Guide.
Casey’s urban forest
We're leading new initiatives to improve urban greening based on The Living Melbourne Metropolitan Urban Forest Strategy. These initiatives ensure our entire municipality attains the benefits of greener urban spaces.
We currently manage approximately 250,000 trees in our urban forests. 864 of these trees are classified as significant trees.
Urban heat island effect
The urban heat island effect causes heat in cities due to lack of vegetation. This is compared to surrounding rural regions or those with large amounts of vegetation.
Buildings and infrastructure in urban regions absorb radiation during the day and release it in the evening. This means temperatures are also higher during the night.
The urban heat island effect can worsen the impact of heatwaves in metropolitan areas. It can make vulnerable populations more exposed to heat-related illness. The most susceptible groups are:
- people who are pregnant
- aged 65 or over or 4 and under
- have existing heart conditions
- engaged in strenuous activity (such as labourers)
- on medications that can cause adverse reactions to heat
Reducing the urban heat island effect
Increasing vegetation in city areas can reduce the urban heat island effect. One of the most effective methods is expanding a region's urban forests.
An ‘urban forest’ is made up of trees planted along streets or in open spaces. Its biological features provide cooling benefits. Shade and irrigation cause drops in land and air temperature ranging from 0.25°C to 1.2°C.
Tree life cycles
Trees start as seeds, grow into saplings and the finally become mature trees. Council must remove trees at the end of their life cycle (when a tree is dying). Drought, extreme heat and other climate change-induced weather conditions can reduce the life span of trees. Most of Casey’s trees are juvenile or mature, with senescent trees approaching the end of their life.
Keeping diverse species of trees is important for the health of our urban forest. It's difficult for climate change to wipe out a tree population made up of a large range of species. The most common species of trees in Casey are: