Helps us help trees during extreme heat

Released 19/12/2019

Canberrans love our bush capital and with the extreme heat causing stress to our trees the Government is asking the community to lend a hand to look after their street trees with sustainable water sources.

“Canberra has an incredible urban forest, with over 760,000 trees on public land throughout the city, and we want to keep it that way,” Minister Steel said.

"Our city services staff are actively watering thousands of trees under 5 years old, however with the extreme heat and extended drought we are calling on the community to lend a hand and help water trees in their neighbourhood.

“We are asking members of the public to keep an eye out for their own street trees where possible and apply some grey water if they can. A little help from locals will make a significant difference to trees over the hot, dry Canberra summer.

“We are facing some really extreme heat with no significant rainfall expected until February and the soil will stay very dry from the weather conditions over the last few months,” Minister Steel said.

Canberrans are encouraged to water street trees using water that would otherwise go down the drain, including:

  • Popping a bucket in the shower to collect water
  • Collecting greywater from the washing machine
  • Using the melted ice in an esky after a BBQ

An eight-litre bucket of water once a week could provide enough supplementary water for young trees during dry periods. A larger tree of over five metres may require several buckets once a week. The water should be applied slowly during the cool of the morning or evening, under the tree and close to the trunk to get into the tree roots. It’s not necessary for people to dig trenches around trees to catch the water as this can cause damage to the roots.

We especially ask people to look for stressed or struggling trees. There are a few signs that your neighbourhood tree is in trouble including dead branches in the canopy, sparse leaf cover, deep bark cracking and curling, and browning or drooping leaves.

For tips on other ways to reuse water, visit the Act Smart site:

- Statement ends -

Section: Chris Steel, MLA | Media Releases

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