Urban Forest Visual

Did you know that 27 per cent of City of Melbourne's current tree population will be lost within the next decade? Ever had the urge to keep tabs on Melbourne's overall tree population, or even a specific tree for that matter?

Tasked with maintaining more than 70,000 trees, City of Melbourne via its Urban Forest Visual website provides the means for any person to explore the current state of Melbourne's inner city 'forest'.

In operation for some time, Urban Forest Visual is a tool within the wider Urban Forest Strategy which provides "A robust framework for the evolution and longevity of our urban forest." The strategy aims to:

  • Adapt our city to climate change.
  • Mitigate the urban heat island effect by bringing our inner city temperatures down.
  • Create healthier ecosystems.
  • Become a water sensitive city
  • Engage and involving the community.

The Urban Forest Visual interactive map goes into amazing detail, with all manner of searchable options possible. Age, location, type and life expectancy are but a few options available to the viewer, with the map able to target a specific tree if required.

Useful life expectancy. Image © City of Melbourne

The purpose behind Urban Forest Visual is to raise awareness of a number of key issues confronting Melbourne's tree population, particularly regarding diversity and longevity.

A lack of species diversity leaves the urban forest vulnerable to threats from pests, disease, and stress due to climate change. Currently our urban forest is dominated by eucalypts, planes, elms and gums (corymbias). Many of these trees were planted at the same time during condensed periods of planting activity, and large numbers of elms and planes are now reaching the end of their useful life expectancy.

Urban Forest Visual
Tree genus. Image © City of Melbourne

The above graphic shows Melbourne's most common tree types graphed by genus with the colours indicating useful lifetime; green refers to a healthy tree while orange indicated a dying specimen. Interestingly Plane and Elm trees look to be the least suited/resilient genus utilised in Melbourne.


Hats off to City of Melbourne for devising such a comprehensive and interactive system in charting the state of Melbourne's inner city 'forest.'

What chances of devising a similar program charting Melbourne's built form?


Peter Maltezos's picture

The eucalyptus trees in Franklin Street grow quickly and appear healthy, but are often knocked over whenever we have strong winds blowing.

They are either falling over are dropping large branches.

Too dangerous for our streets in my opinion, give me plane trees any day!

I collect, therefore I am.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

The trees on Swanston Street are still dropping debris (office is at canopy level) and as a result I've had sinusitis on and off for 5 weeks now.

Quite literally doing my head in.

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Bilby's picture

They are not growing or flowering at this time of year, though - how could they be the cause of allergies right now?

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Peter Maltezos's picture

It's probably mould from accumulated rotting organic matter (leaves) that's causing it.

I collect, therefore I am.

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Riccardo's picture

I'd like to see Royal Park completely regrown as forest, it's just disgusting and nothing at present. Audit the sports fields and work out if we are getting good use from them. Rather than the EW tunnel nonsense, just sink 4 lanes parallel to Elliot Ave then remove the original. And finally, get rid of the Upfield line and replace with my South Yarra to Coburg metro under Sydney rd.

I can here the whinge ing about a central city bushfire but a genuine forest would do so much for liveability of the inner area.

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Riccardo's picture

Gave it some more thought. The former Princes
Park oval buildings should be acquired and pulled down, and a more modest set of sports fields in this area, so that most of the sport fields in Royal Park can be ended and grown over as forest.

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Development & Planning

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 12:00
Brunswick's Anstey Precinct is in for a massive shot of development as Melbourne's Nightingale Housing plans seven separate buildings in a project that will be dubbed Nightingale Village. Already accustomed to urban renewal, the area surrounding Anstey Station is set to benefit from the unprecedented move by Nightingale Housing to develop what amounts to an entire street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 00:00
Spring Street has released details of a large shutdown of the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston lines which will allow workers to complete major upgrades to the rail infrastructure. The work is required to allow for the introduction of the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) and will involve upgrading power & catenary, signalling and communications equipment in the Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne) corridor.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.