Our Urban Forest

urban forest

Ku-ring-gai’s environment is made up of trees, shrubs and ground cover along with the soil and water that support these - together they create an Urban Forest. These include natural and built, plant and tree systems that exist in both Council Managed Land and private property. A vital part of creating a healthy, liveable community. 

What does an Urban Forest do?

  • Reduces urban heat and energy consumption.
  • Reduces air pollution.
  • Increases land and property values.
  • Increases social health and wellbeing.
  • Stores and sequesters carbon emissions
  • Stabilises land and reduces erosion.
  • Reduces stormwater flows and nutrient loads.
  • Increases habitat for wildlife therefore improves biodiversity.

Visit The Liveable Street from Inner West Council for a great video summary of how trees help us on a daily basis.

Urban Forest Strategy

The next phase of community consultation will coincide with publication of the draft Urban Forest Strategy. This will be reported to the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 24 May 2022, seeking endorsement for it to be placed on public exhibition. Pending this endorsement, the draft Strategy will be publicly exhibited during June 2022 for the community to provide feedback. The comments received will inform any amendments to the strategy prior to it being presented to Council for adoption.

Native plants and weeds

Find local native plants that will thrive and weeds to avoid in your backyard.

Book in for a FREE Greenstyle garden consultation with our Council expert to help you with plant selection, weed ID and creating a drought-tolerant or edible garden.

Urban forest for the future

Which Plant Where program

More greenery in our towns and cities is imperative for healthy minds, healthy bodies and a healthy environment.

A key challenge for greening Australia’s urban environment is to ensure that future plantings are made with trees, shrubs and turf that can tolerate the climate conditions that will occur in the near future.

The Which Plant Where program is a series of five-year research programs that investigates how well current landscaping species will cope under the more extreme climates that Australia’s cities will face and investigate opportunities for new species and varieties for the urban context. Ku-ring-gai Council is proud to be part of the exciting Which Plant Where Living Labs Program at Robert Pymble Park.

Read the media release for more information.

Urban Forest Policy

Council has recently created an Urban Forest Policy(PDF, 657KB) and captured new Urban Forest (Canopy) mapping. This information will be used to create an Urban Forest Monitoring Program and an Urban Forest Strategy to help manage this key resource.

Urban Forest replenishment program

Since the early 2000s, Council has been committed to managing Ku-ring-gai’s urban tree canopy. We have focused on:

  • Maintaining and increasing canopy.
  • Ensuring trees on Council managed land (parks, nature strips, sportsfields, bushland and golf courses) include a range of trees varying in life span, height  and ability to support wildlife habitat.

The NSW Government 5 Million Trees initiative aims to increase canopy cover across Greater Sydney to 40% by 2030. Although Ku-ring-gai has one of the highest canopy cover in the region, with increased pressures from urbanisation and an aging tree canopy, ongoing management and replenishment of our canopy is essential.

Urban Forest Strategy - Have your say

Council is developing an Urban Forest Strategy which will define how Council manages and improves our urban forest for current and future generations.

As part of Phase 1 community engagement for the project Council invited the community to complete a survey during October 2021, concluding on 5 November 2021.

For this we established a page through Council’s engagement hub where we included a link to a survey with 11 questions asking about peoples experience and sentiment towards trees in Ku-ring-gai. These responses were able to provide valuable insights into what the community thought was going well and where we could make improvements. Overall from the 139 respondents, most people are supportive of trees and increasing our canopy cover.

What comes next?

The next phase of consultation will coincide with publication of the draft Urban Forest Strategy. The document will be placed on public exhibition later this year for the community to provide feedback. The comments received will inform any amendments to the strategy prior to it being presented to Council for adoption.

Monitoring our forests

How is the tree canopy and urban forest in your suburb?

Read an overview and assessment(PDF, 5MB) of Ku-ring-gai's tree canopy including by suburb. This was created using drone technology and was produced by and Aborcarbon.  

Council is currently collecting 2022 Urban Forest data, which will be provided once available.

Report tree concerns to Council

Council is responsible for removal, pruning or replacement planting works required on trees located on nature strips or on Council managed land such as parks, sportsfields, bushland and golf courses. Residents can help by reporting concerns to Council.

Trees on Council managed land

Contact Council to report concerns with your street tree. Check the Assessment Guidelines to Prune or Remove Trees on Private Property and Council Managed Land(PDF, 127KB) first to learn about how Council's Arborist manage and maintain trees on Council managed land.

To request inspection of a tree, contact Customer Service on 9424 0000 or email your concerns with photos and your contact phone number to krg@krg.nsw.gov.au. The Inspecting Officer will call you to advise the outcome.

Get involved & create your urban forest

Verge gardens - everything you need to know to start your own native pollinator garden, willdife habitat or just a beautiful spot on your nature strip.

Backyard habitat - From tree hollows and best boxes, to beehives and frog ponds. We have all you need to support the native species at your place. 

Native Bee Program - Register for the annual Bee Lottery and have the chance to foster one of these special hives in your backyard.

Pool to pond program - Keen to turn your unused pool into a wildlife sanctuary for yourself and local wildlife? We show you how.

Request a street tree

Request a street tree to be planted at your property. A Tree Management Officer will inspect your nature strip and determine a suitable location and tree species. They will take into consideration space, location of powerlines, driveways, motorist and pedestrian sightlines and any other impacts. Contact Customer Service on 9424 0000 or email with photos and your phone number to krg@krg.nsw.gov.au. The Officer will call you to advise the outcome of the inspection.

Water and monitor your newly planted street trees

Check the moisture of the soil around your tree periodically and add water as necessary. This will support its long term growth.

Trees on your own property

Visit a local plant nursery for advice on suitable tree species for your property. If you need advice, contact a Consulting Arborist that is a member of the Institute of Consulting Arboriculturists (IACA). If they suggest management options where maintenance is required, contact a professional Tree Contractor that is a member of the Tree Contractors Association (TCAA) to undertake works on your tree. Ensure you check with Council if a permit is required for the work.

Volunteer for bushland regeneration

Get involved with as little as 2 hours a month and you can make a difference to your local bushland. We have a range of Bushcare, Trailcare, Creekcare and fauna projects to help protect our community bushland. Find out more here.