- Between 6000 and 7000 trees are removed every year in Sutherland Shire.

Council is providing quarterly reports on tree removal in the Sutherland Shire. The report for the period 1/8/2017 to 1/2/18 shows that Council does not have accurate data on tree removal and replacement. 

Council Report COR022-18 Council meeting 21/5/2018

When trees are removed from development sites, Council does not check all development sites to see if replacement trees have been planted. 1042 trees were approved for removal from development sites, requiring 2749 replacement trees. Only 573 are recorded as being planted.

Council does not take into account the mortality rate of existing trees which are required to be retained on development sites. A Council audit of a sample of development sites showed that this could be a considerable number.

730 trees were approved for removal from private property requiring 1123 replacement trees. Council has no data on how many replacement trees have been planted.

Council's multiple data systems do not record all the trees that Council removes from public spaces.

344 trees were removed by RMS and Ausgrid requiribg 1571 replacement trees. None had been planted by the end of the reporting period.

The planting season was cut short due to the record breaking hot and dry weather.

The report suggests that aerial photography is a better way to assess loss of tree canopy rather than numerical data.

 GREEN STREETS PROGRAM  (why we need it and how to contribute)

- Since LEP 2015 came into force there has been a very significant increase in development in the Shire and it has been happening much more rapidly than anticipated. The higher floor space ratios and reduced landscaping area standards under LEP 2015 make it difficult to retain existing trees or plant new trees on development sites.

- Council removes trees from public land e.g if they are aging or diseased. Ausgrid and Council are removing trees considered inappropriate for the location from under powerlines.

- The loss of so many trees each year would, over time, dramatically change the Shire's character from leafy, green area with canopy trees to an area of mainly buildings and hard surfaces.

- The Green Streets Program commenced in 2013 with the aim of ensuring no net loss of trees in the Shire. Under the program, owners of sites being redeveloped pay Council to plant trees in streets or on public land to offset removal of trees from private land, if trees can't be retained or replaced on the site. The replacement rate is 4 trees planted for each one removed from single dwelling sites and 8:1 for dual occupancy, townhouse, villa and unit sites.

- 185 trees were planted in Darley Street Reserve as offset planting in 2016 

- Mass plantings of trees have been undertaken in some streets in industrial areas of Kirrawee and Caringbah. The trees are thriving and have made a big improvement to the appearance of these streets.

- As the trees on public land mature they provide shade for pedestrians, improve air quality and reduce tempertures in urban areas.

- The streets in and around centres have the greatest need for trees to shade the large number of pedestrians and compensate for the adverse impacts of the large amount of high density development and hard surfaces. Sections of streets in and around Miranda Centre without shade trees are unbearably hot during summer.

- Council has removed trees from streets in and around Miranda Centre in recent years but has not replaced them in those streets.

- Council invites residents to nominate streets or localities where they would like to see more trees planted. If you would like to suggest any streets or locations in and around Miranda centre or any other area please contact Council 97100333 and ask for GREEN STREETS PROGRAM . They will put you through to one of their organisers.

For more information on the Green Streets Program see Council reports EHR003-17 4/7//2016 and PLN005-17 7/11/16