PHoto: Sue Fraser
Large eucalypt trees, also known as gum trees, are an iconic part of the Australian landscape and an essential part of Bendigo’s natural environment.
NATURE'S HIGH RISE APARTMENTS
Trees are habitat for more than 300 species of native animals including bats, birds, possums, gliders and reptiles. All of these animals use tree hollows that only develop in mature trees, some more than a century old, making protecting mature trees very important for our wildlife. Shrubs and ground layer plants also rely on the shelter provided by mature trees to survive.
Natural cooling towers
Trees supply clean air and create shade along our streets and in our backyards. In urban areas concrete, roads and buildings absorb the sun’s heat, making the surrounding area hotter.
Shade from mature trees can offset this heat, soak up carbon dioxide and protect homes from temperature fluctuations. This reduces the need for additional heating and cooling to keep your house comfortable inside.
The shade offered by trees on hot summer days can help reduce localised temperatures by up to 2°C.
This might not sound like much but on days over 30°C the risk of heat-related morbidity and mortality for people aged over 64 increases significantly. Evidence suggests that people in buildings with little or no surrounding vegetation are at higher risk of heat-related morbidity.
Trees are also homes for bats and other animals that help keep your garden healthy by preying on pest insect populations.
Fading from the landscape
Large mature trees are being lost from the landscape. Stresses associated with old age, isolation, drought and the impacts of urbanisation and damage mean big old trees are dying or being removed.
In many cases, these trees are not being replaced, leaving our landscapes in much poorer condition and our native animals bereft of their homes.
What CAN I DO?
- If you have limited space, consider planting smaller species of trees (local Mallee species are often ideal in smaller gardens). Make sure you give trees plenty of space, away from homes and powerlines.
- It is an offence to collect firewood from roadsides or bushland reserves. Report illegal activity to the City of Greater Bendigo on 5434 6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lop don’t chop – always consider pruning rather than tree removal when addressing safety concerns.
- Look after trees in your backyard or on your nature strip.
- Learn about the trees near you!
- Get professional advice regarding tree care if you need it.
- Install nesting boxes in existing trees if they don’t already have hollows.