I learned about the Melbourne Urban Forest Visual from this Daily Good article by Adrienne LaFrance. Two years ago, the City of Melbourne gave an email address and ID numbers to the 70,000 trees they maintain so that people could report any problems with the trees. Here's why.
A quick read of the FAQ section of the City of Melbourne Urban Forest Precinct Plans provides the following information:
"Thirteen years of drought and water restrictions have now accelerated the severe decline of our trees. In addition, many of Melbourne's trees were planted at the same time, so they are now reaching the end of their life at the same time. Our research shows that we will lose 27% of our trees in the next 10 years and 44% within 20 years - that's almost 30,000 trees." In addition just three species (eucalyptus, planes and elms) account for 35% of all the trees, a lack of diversity that makes the tree population more vulnerable to future threats.
To combat this loss, the city has developed Melbourne Urban Forest strategies designed to:
- increase canopy cover
- increase urban forest diversity
- improve vegetation health
- improve soil moisture and water quality
- improve urban ecology
- inform and consult with the community
To send your own message to a tree in Melbourne, use firstname.lastname@example.org and don't worry, if you select a tree from the visual map, the tree ID number will be automatically added to the subject line.
Facebook page or following them on Twitter @cityofmelbourne.