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:
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.
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
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?