10 ways to tune in with trees

Hug a eucalypt, email a Moreton Bay fig tree, plant a sapling or just bask in Melbourne’s urban forest to get back to nature in your neighbourhood.

We look after more than 80,000 trees in public spaces across the City of Melbourne, and our canopy is one of the municipality’s most important assets. Each year, we plant around 3000 new trees. 

As well as making our city a beautiful place to live and visit, trees and plants play a crucial role in biodiversity, wellbeing, air quality and cooling. 

Here are some ways to tune in with trees in your neighbourhood. 

1. Deepen your understanding of Aboriginal Melbourne 

Pause to reflect amid a group of Moreton Bay fig trees in the Carlton Gardens that became a significant gathering place for Aboriginal people before and during World War II. Renowned Aboriginal civil rights activists, community workers and community leaders including Sir Doug Nicholls addressed gatherings here, and the location continues to be a significant meeting place. To learn more about important local places, visit Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne. 

2. Think like a naturalist in Royal Park 

Slow down to smell the river mint in Royal Park, Parkville’s expansive 188-hectare parkland. Spot possums and native birds amid the lightly timbered eucalypt forest, romp in the nature playground, and keep an eye out for the 100 new trees we’ve just planted. Stay a while to try Ranger Jim’s four practical activities to help you tune into nature, or help us spot superb fairy wrens for our habitat research project.

A tall tree

Pause to gaze up at historic trees

3. Request a tree inspection 

Our professional arborists are qualified to assess and maintain a healthy urban forest. If you’ve seen a tree with a fallen branch, tree roots causing damage, or any another tree-related issue, report it online at Tree management. If there’s any danger to the public or public space, call us on 03 9658 9658 straight away. 

4. Snack along the Kensington Stock Route 

Stroll or cycle from Racecourse Road to the Maribyrnong River along the historic Kensington Stock Route, an urban oasis that’s about to get a whole lot tastier. We’re planting fruit trees and other edible plants along the popular 1.5 km path to improve species diversity and local food production.

A woman with a puppy sit under trees in a park

Katie and Cash enjoy tall trees in North Melbourne

5. Help us map the hollows 

Keep an eye out for upcoming mapping events that will help us understand where birds and bats are living in tree hollows across the City of Melbourne. As trees age, they can develop hollows and cracks that provide shelter for a range of animals. To learn more about the importance of these nooks and crannies, visit Wildlife at home in the hollows. 

6. Geek out on tree data 

A healthy urban forest will play a critical role in maintaining the health and liveability of Melbourne as we face the significant global challenges of climate change, population growth and urban heating. Explore tree data online using our Urban Forest Visual tool, and learn about our goals for canopy cover and species diversity. 

Caring for trees of all ages and stages 

Young, mature and even dead trees all play an important role in our urban ecosystems and provide crucial habitat resources for wildlife.

We work hard to care for trees throughout their life cycle, make sure they’re safe for the community to enjoy, and plant new trees to cultivate our future urban forest. 

An avenue of trees

Wander along avenues of trees in our parks

7. Grow a wildlife garden 

Whether you have a big backyard, a community garden, a school vegie patch, a green rooftop, or pot plants on your balcony, everyone can help promote urban biodiversity. View six top tips for wildlife friendly gardens at Grow your own wildlife garden or request a garden assessment from one of our friendly Gardens for Wildlife volunteers. 

8. Honour a huggable tree 

Take a moment to breathe in beloved trees and plants that have graced our city for generations. There are hundreds of exceptional trees throughout the city that are protected by our planning scheme. You can find them on our interactive map and seek them out in real life. For your next adventure, take a garden tour at Bishopscourt in East Melbourne, home to a “very huggable” Monterey Cypress, or wander through the historic Royal Botanic Gardens to discover 3000 (slightly less huggable) cacti and succulents in the unique arid garden.

A large garden with tall trees, with Melbourne's city skyline beyond

A bird’s eye view of the arid garden

9. Email a tree 

Find your favourite tree using our Urban Forest Visual tool and send it some love by email. Every one of our trees has its own email address and over the years people from Melbourne and around the world have sent them all sorts of love letters, and even jokes. Go on, give it a try. You might even get a response. 

10. Become a Citizen Forester or Junior Ranger 

Help us grow our urban forest and improve local ecology through advocacy, monitoring and research tasks by becoming a Citizen Forester. Kids can get involved too, through our Junior Rangers program. Pique their interest with five animals to spot on a city safari, from peacock spiders to pobblebonk frogs, or take them for a romp in the treetop playground at Lincoln Square in Carlton.

Treetop playground

The treetop playground at Lincoln Square

For more information about our commitment to Melbourne’s canopy and biodiversity, visit Urban Forest Strategy. 

Explore a winter wonderland

See the trees of the Royal Botanic Gardens illuminated with dazzling lights for Lightscape until 7 August. For more warming winter events, browse What’s On Melbourne.

Three people in front of a tree lit up with rainbow lights

Lightscape is a 1.8 km journey of light and sound