Concerns for 7000 trees in Green Gully Reserve

Jenny Isa and her dog, King, in Green Gully Reserve. (Joe Mastroianni)

A Greens member and Brimbank council candidate has vowed to bring forward the council’s 2045 deadline for the planting of 700,000 trees.

The 30-year goal was set following release of the council’s urban forest strategy, which found Brimbank’s canopy cover was 6.2 per cent, the third-lowest of any municipality in Victoria and a fifth of what was needed in a healthy, liveable city.

Brimbank Greens member Alex Schlotzer said he wanted to improve the council’s commitment to cutting pollution and boosting residents’ resilience to heatwaves by speeding up the planting of 700,000 trees.

He also joined fellow council candidate Jenny Isa, an independent, in expressing concern for the health of thousands of newly planted trees in Green Gully Reserve.

“I support every effort by council to improve green spaces in Brimbank,” Mr Scholtzer said.

“If elected, I will be doing everything I can to speed up the council’s planting program. However, I don’t want to lock myself into timelines just yet … the council is under financial stress with rate capping.”

Ms Isa, a St Albans resident of 35 years and regular dog walker at the Keilor Downs Green Gully reserve, says she’s worried about the long term health of 7000 trees planted there in May.

She estimated about 70 per cent of the trees were dead or at risk of dying.

“I share some community concerns on the ratio of survival of the trees that have been planted recently and would like to see more care taken,” she said.

“I would also like to engage the community to care and appreciate the beauty of the existing greenery we have here in Brimbank … explore how we can do things better with our environment. I’d like to change the current planning schemes … and have more open space in the housing designs and landscape.”

Council infrastructure and environment director Neil Whiteside said the council was aware of the struggling trees at Green Gully.

“With all tree planting there is always the possibility that some trees will not transplant well and fail to establish,” he said.

“This can usually be seen within the first month of planting.

“Council will replace some of the trees which fail to establish.”

READ: Council vows to plant 700,000 trees to beat heat