Waiting for shade

Sunbury residents will have to wait their turn to receive extra greenery under Hume council’s tree planting initiative, while their counterparts in southern Hume areas will soon receive 6300 trees.

According to council, it will plant 5000 trees each year in Hume and maintain trees across reserves, urban areas and other properties managed by council.

A council spokesperson said the areas chosen for the current round of planting had low access to open space, were high on social vulnerability scoring and the areas had many vacant street tree planting sites.

“Planting trees in one geographical area at a time saves time and money for Hume council as planting, watering and tree establishment assessments are all close to one another, reducing travel time,” they said.

“Planting trees across the municipality is a process that requires significant resources that need to be distributed based on need. Council has a five year plan to plant trees in all urban areas of Hume.”

However, the council would not confirm how many trees would be planted in Sunbury under the initiative and when.

Sunbury Residents Association (SRA) president Graeme Williams said he wasn’t sure why council would need to focus on some parts of the municipality first.

“[Planting trees] doesn’t require massive capital works funding,” he said. Yes, there may be a little bit of extra watering and maintenance but only a bit.

“It’s my understanding they have a responsibility to maintain existing trees across the municipality, so I can’t see that adding trees across the entire municipality would incur [much] extra costs.”

Mr Williams said SRA have already been focused on adding greenery to Sunbury through supplying local kindergartens with more than 1100 small shrubs and trees.

He said the way council is completing the initiative is not a particularly productive way to do it for the whole community.

Residents from other areas, such as Broadmeadows, have also voiced their frustration about the planting order.

Broadmeadows resident Shah Noor said she was disappointed that her suburb and some other suburbs like Dallas, Coolaroo and Campbellfield, which lack green space, weren’t on the council’s top priority areas.

“Every time I walk in Broadmeadows, it’s really hot… with concrete everywhere,” she said.

Hume council said residents can make a request for a tree to be planted in front of their property on the nature strip at any time from anywhere in Hume.

The request will be assessed and if a tree can be planted in the location council said it will go into the 2025-26 planting program.