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Tree survey at Melbourne Gardens

In the largest project of its kind since 1991, the Information Systems 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 the GIS location of each tree. 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 publically-available online Plant Census.

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

“So far, we’ve completed surveys of Oak Lawn, Hopetoun Lawn, Eucalypt Lawn and the Observatory precinct.”

“Lots of mature trees didn’t have accession numbers, which are attached to individual plant records and provide a detailed history of each plant. Now, as a result of this project, each tree in the Gardens will have its own accession number and we’ll be much better equipped to keep tabs on the condition of trees over the years.”

“The data we’re gathering is not just helping us, but is also providing much-needed information on trees in Melbourne generally. A PhD student from The University of Melbourne has been assisting with the project and will be including the data in a study of carbon sequestration in Melbourne.”