Trees are fundamental to the story of Yarra Ranges, shaping our cultures, values and communities. They are a prominent feature in our landscape, providing benefits to our health and wellbeing, community and culture, the environment, ecology and economy. The Tree Canopy Strategy sets our vision, objectives and targets for the long-term protection, management and planting of trees in Yarra Ranges. For each of the six strategy objectives, actions are detailed in the Implementation Plan (Appendix 1). The Strategy provides the direction necessary to effectively plan, allocate resources and act to maximise the benefits of our tree canopy and to minimise tree risk.

View the Tree Canopy Strategy 2024-2044

Tree Canopy Strategy Objectives

Healthy mature trees take decades to grow and provide great benefit to the community and the environment. We will value and protect trees to minimise canopy cover loss, and manage our trees to maximise their benefits and minimise risk. Our community will be well informed and understand the role, function and importance of trees.

We will strive to grow healthy and resilient trees on public land. Our tree planting will plant the right tree in the right place, be fairly distributed, increase canopy cover, support areas of recognised biodiversity value and integrate with urban infrastructure.

Culturally significant trees are an important part of the landscape that shapes the identity of Yarra Ranges and makes it a tourism destination. We will aim to conserve and enhance culturally significant trees through best practice tree management, and enhance culture and tourism with new tree plantings.

Trees will play an increasingly important role as our community seeks to adapt to the effects of climate change. We will grow a more diverse and resilient tree canopy, better suited to a future climate, and investigate ways to improve landscape resilience.

We will manage our trees to maximise their cooling benefit and enhance the liveability of our urban areas. Our tree planting will prioritise locations with low or declining canopy cover, particularly those vulnerable to heat. We will continue to implement and adapt our management practices to minimise the risks associated with extreme weather and bushfire.

We will strategically manage public trees as important community assets. We will be accountable and transparent in meeting our targets, and demonstrate best practice in delivering tree programs and projects that benefit our community.


Yarra Ranges Council will aim to achieve the following by 2044:
  • Our community will...

    • Have a greater understanding of the role, function and importance of trees
    • Have greater knowledge and appreciation of our culturally significant trees
    • Increase their participation in greening and biodiversity programs.
  • Our tree planting will...

    • Increase tree canopy cover from 31.68% to 35% on public land in built up areas
    • Be fairly distributed, providing a minimum of 25% tree canopy cover on public land across all suburbs and towns
    • Increase tree canopy cover for all activity centres, key pedestrian routes, playspaces and biolinks between areas with recognised biodiversity value
    • Increase the diversity and resilience of Council managed trees
  • Our tree management will...

    • Reduce hazardous trees along roadsides for bushfire preparedness
    • Successfully establish 95% of new street tree plantings, inclusive of formative pruning
    • Improve the condition of large habitat trees and culturally significant trees on public land
    • Incorporate policies, plans, programs and tools informed by industry best practices.

Frequently asked questions

Community engagement

Thank you for your feedback on the Draft Strategy

Common feedback raised by the community included:

− Too many trees are being cut down for new development

− Tree canopy cover targets aren’t enough

− Planting native trees versus planting exotic trees

− Emphasise and consider the biodiversity value of trees

− Incentivise tree retention and tree planting on private land

− Planting more trees could increase the risk of bushfire

− Ill-considered tree management and tree planting decisions can pose a risk to people and property

− Use up-to-date tree canopy cover data to inform tree management decisions

− Significant trees are not being adequately protected or managed

− The Strategy should be periodically reviewed to address changes and emerging trends.

Contact Us

If you have questions or want to learn more about this project, contact us below.

Name Tree Management team
Phone 1300 368 333
In writing

PO Box 105, Lilydale Vic 3140