Urban Forest Strategy - Action Plan

The Action Plan will pave the way for Council to deliver its strategic urban forest approach through its day to day operations.

It will be delivered by the City's Parks and Gardens Department, through the Tree Management Team.

There are however certain aspects that will rely on other Council departments to take an urban forest approach in their work and consider how their day to day operations can positively influence the City’s urban forest.

Key performance indicators

By setting Key Performance Indicators we can ensure our operational framework is working to achieve its vision. Technical processes such as tree planning, planting, maintenance, removals and revegetation works can be more holistically managed to meet our objectives. Key Performance Indicators allow us to track our progress and refine processes where needed.

Objective 1: Green the City

  1. Plant an additional 500 advanced street trees per year
  2. Continue work along the Greenway: meet target of 80,000 trees by 2018
  3. Conduct an in-fill planting program
  4. Incorporate other forms of vegetation where possible: green roofs, green walls, amenity plantings, garden beds
  5. Integrate Open Space Planning with urban forest planning to meet multiple outcomes, including the development of corridors and connections
  6. Building on internal relationships to enhance urban greening through delivery of: The Open Space Strategy, Environment Management Strategy, Land use plans and Precinct Structure Plans, Network Operating Plans (Transport Strategy), Physical Activity Strategy, Reserve Masterplans, Community Development programs, Urban Design guidelines and existing asset management operations such as traffic management and engineering works

Key performance indicators:

  • Annual net gain of 500 street trees per year
  • Completion of Geelong's Greenway Project
  • Create tree lined entrances to Geelong

Objective 2: Cool the City


  • Develop Tree Species selection criteria
  • Set priority planting locations particularly for large canopied trees
  • Contribute towards the Playground Strategy, Transport Strategy, Tourism and Community Health to improve natural shade in the city
  • Include urban forest planning into Integrated Water Cycle Management
  • Incorporate street tree planting with water sensitive urban design where possible
  • Filtrate stormwater back into nature strips to provide irrigation for trees where possible

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Increase measurable canopy cover to achieve our target of 25%
  • Increase passive WSUD treatments in the public realm
  • Improve water permeability around street trees

Objective 3: Engage the community and build regional partnerships


  1. Conduct Community planting days
  2. Increase the use of social media: advocacy, competitions, photo displays
  3. Develop community and/or friends of groups to engage in community planting and greening activities in areas prioritised for tree planting
  4. Build on existing arts and culture activities to include narratives and artworks around trees
  5. Develop a model to create more community orchards in partnership with community groups
  6. Develop key regional partnerships with developers, G21, Future Proofing Geelong, Greening the West, Barwon Water, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, suppliers to deliver urban forest projects
  7. Strengthen partnerships with service and utility providers: VicRoads, Powercor
  8. Strengthen partnerships with other greening agencies such as Landcare, Greening Australia, 202020 Vision, Greening the West and local greening community groups

Key Performance Indicators:

Increase number of community members involved in tree planting days Increase the demand from residents for a street tree outside their house Development of multiple partner urban forest projects delivering community benefits

Objective 4: Best practice urban tree management


  1. Develop a complete Urban Tree Management Technical Manual
  2. Develop an annual Tree Planting plan based on priority areas
  3. Develop tree planting design guidelines
  4. Develop and maintain a significant tree register
  5. Measure all Key Performance Indicators in 2020 and report progress
  6. Ensure the urban forest objectives are integrated into all key City documents where possible
  7. Seek external funding where possible to boost the tree planting program

Key performance indicators:

  • Technical manual completed and disseminated to relevant stakeholders
  • All trees removed have been replaced 90% of the urban tree population is healthy
  • Appropriate diversity of tree age, species and Useful Life Expectancies

“Geelong's community will be actively engaged in building Geelong's urban forest”

Page last updated: Wednesday, 6 January 2021