Strathfield Local Government Area has many trees that are considered significant to the local community for their historic and heritage value.
Strathfield Council’s Significant Tree Register was established in 1995, following extensive analysis of Strathfield’s tree species.
The purpose of Council’s Significant Tree Register is to identify and recognise the importance of significant trees in the landscape of the Strathfield area. This Register guides their management and ensures their protection for future generations.
The assessment methodology for determining significant trees is based on the criteria developed for the then Register of the National Estate, in accordance with the principles of the Burra Charter. This is the nationally consistent approach to heritage identification and assessment which is applied to all types of heritage places and items.
A thorough physical examination of listed trees in relation to their natural occurrence or cultural history has been conducted and supported through extensive field work and examination to evaluate their importance in relation to the following criteria:
- Historic and/or natural value (ie, indigenous/cultivated origin)
- Botanic/scientific value
- Social, cultural and commemorative value
- Visual and aesthetic value
Listed trees are assessed on their comparative points of importance relating to both cultural and natural significance. Therefore, the heritage values of a significant tree or group of trees are almost always multi-layered.
This evaluation process ensures that trees are assessed in a consistent manner.
Trees are not classified because they are ‘big’ or ‘old’. For trees to be included in the Register, they require objective assessment against criteria.
The enhanced status of significant trees is used by Council to promote broader community awareness and to highlight its commitment to the protection of these trees and their contextual landscapes.
An Arboricultural Assessment Report or Tree Pruning Specification Report will be required for all applications involving either the removal or pruning of trees listed on the Significant tree register, within a property that is Heritage Listed or within a Heritage Conservation Area.
Development applications involving trees listed on the Significant Tree Register
If a proposal for development is on land where there is a tree or trees listed on the Significant Tree Register, Council will require submission of an arborist’s report. The report should identify and address the trees proposed to be removed, pruned or retained and the methods for protection of trees during building works. Where tree protection is required, Council may require payment of a refundable performance bond to ensure the protection of the tree(s).
- Council’s Development Control Plan requires that proposed development provides for reasonable retention and protection of existing significant trees, especially near property boundaries and sets out setback controls for development near trees identified in the Council’s Significant Tree Register.
- All trees permitted for removal are to be replaced with long lived canopy trees identified on Council’s Recommended Tree Planting lists. These replacement trees must be shown on the Landscape design and such plans must contain important information such as the tree species (dwarf growing cultivars will not be accepted), the container planting size (45-400 litre is recommended depending on the significance of the site, value of the works and natural or heritage considerations) and the planting specification and location.