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Tree survey at Melbourne Gardens

In the largest project of its kind since 1991, the Information Services and Arboriculture teams are undertaking a detailed survey of all 6,500 trees at Melbourne Gardens.

So far, the team has surveyed more than 2,500 trees, gathering data such as diameter at breast height (DBH), canopy width, height, general condition, and locating each tree on a GIS map. The team is also photographing each tree and the photos will be added the Gardens’ internal record (known as the Living Collection Database) along with the data.

This detailed information is invaluable for the Gardens’ tree maintenance schedule which, in turn, helps keep the Gardens’ visitors safe. In future, the photographs may be added to the public online Living Plant Census.

As David Cash, Plant Information Officer, explains, this is a vital long-term project.

“Data from the 1991 Tree Survey was not linked to the Living Collections Database. Now, as a result of this project, the data collected on each tree in the Gardens will be integrated into this database and we'll be much better equipped to keep tabs on the condition of trees over the years."

"So far, we’ve completed surveys of the Eastern, Eucalypt, Hopetoun, Huntingfield, and Oak Lawns, as well as the Observatory precinct.”

“The data we’re gathering is not just helping us, but is also providing much-needed information on trees in Melbourne generally. A MSc. student from The University of Melbourne has been involved with the project and will be including the data to assist in developing a model for measuring carbon in trees."