THE City of Greater Geelong council says it is pleased with the progress it has made on its Urban Forest Strategy 2015-25.
There are now 151,973 trees in the region compared to 120,268 five years ago.
Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said there were many benefits to these improvements.
“The urban forest sequesters and stores carbon, enhances our local biodiversity, reduces stormwater run-off into rivers and the bay, absorbs air pollution and shades the city and its hard surfaces during hot summers.”
The Urban Forest Strategy is a continuation of the council’s City in a Park concept, which was focused on the central business district.
The council aims to increase Geelong’s tree canopy coverage from 14 per cent to 25 per cent over a 30-year period.
Cr Asher said the council was looking to provide a mixture of short- and long-term benefits.
“Areas with low canopy cover, such as Wandana Heights, have benefited from a targeted tree planting program in recent years.
“The canopy coverage in those areas will improve as the small juvenile trees grow.”
When the council first devised the strategy, it identified 45,000 vacant nature strips in the region as prime opportunities to improve the city’s tree coverage.