IF you want to improve the look of your street, provide shade and assist local wildlife, then now is the time to apply for a free street tree.
With rising urban temperatures due to loss of vegetation, street tree planting in residential areas helps to increase canopy cover, reduce urban heat, provide shade and shelter, help to make an area look more established and feel more relaxed and even help to reduce summer water and electricity use.
Through Muswellbrook council's Street Tree Program trees are supplied, planted and maintained on the verge at no cost to residents.
New street trees are planted in June, July and August so now is the best time to request a tree for your street.
General manager Fiona Plesman said council accepts applications for street trees all-year-round but that the planting out program takes place in winter.
"There are a limited number of trees available each year and requests are added to the tree planting register which is used for prioritising and evaluating the program," she said.
"Council has developed a preferred species list and residents may be given options from that list depending on the location of the property and existing species in place.
"'Trees bring life to an area, provide feeding and nesting places for wildlife and can even improve property values. I encourage all residents to have a look at the verge on their property and, if suitable, apply for a street tree."
Additional care by residents is greatly appreciated and will help assist plant survival and growth. To help, you can:
- Water approximately twice a week for the first year
- keep grass away from the base of developing trees
- avoid damaging trees when trimming lawns
- report damaged trees to Council, so replacements can be arranged.
Pruning and ongoing maintenance of street trees is the responsibility of Muswellbrook Shire Council and any requests for maintenance can be lodged through the My Hub Online Service Portal on Council's website.
If you would like to apply for a street tree, please complete and submit the application form available on Council's website or from Council Administration Centre at Campbells Corner.