Region in for green cover

By Madeleine Byron

Greater Shepparton nature strips will nurture more than 1000 street trees as part of the annual street tree renewal program and urban forest strategy.

Each year between May and September, the council conducts a horticultural maintenance program to increase green canopy cover to 40 per cent.

Council’s parks, sport and recreation manager Tim Zak said the program would ensure trees planted under the Urban Forest Strategy matured into healthy and structurally sound trees.

Mr Zak said this season, trees would be planted in estates across Tatura, Mooroopna, Kialla and Shepparton, including some along major roads such as Verney Rd, Benalla Rd and Skene St.

‘‘Tree planting is conducted during the cooler months of the year and the trees we choose are advanced street trees specially grown and selected to suit our local climate,’’ he said.

‘‘Some are chosen specifically for planting under power lines so they do not cause maintenance issues when they are full grown.’’

Providing significant economic, social, environmental, ecological and aesthetic benefits to the community, Mr Zak said the tree cover could assist in the creation of neighbourhood character and identity of our urban streets.

‘‘A well treed streetscape is visually appealing and importantly reduces the impact of radiant heat. Having cooler shadier streets in summer encourages people to get out-and-about more often, which is good for your physical and mental health,’’ he said.

Mr Zak said the council would do extensive monitoring of the new trees for the first two years with watering and maintenance.

Information is available for residents to assist in maintenance of the trees after this period at