Published on 21 October 2019

Trees are cool

Trees are essential to our wellbeing and future; that’s why you’ll see a lot more greenery across the City of Onkaparinga in coming years.

We know that trees provide shade, but did you know they also transpire, releasing moisture into the atmosphere? This is what cities around the world are striving for; green, sweaty plants that act as a natural air conditioner. And the City of Onkaparinga is no exception.

In fact, the council has committed to increasing tree canopy and vegetation cover by 20 per cent in 20 years, and if the community plants trees, vines or vegetables, Onkaparinga will become an even cooler place to live. Not just for its lifestyle, but also for its temperature.

So, how cool is cool?

In 2016 the council asked this question and set out to answer it, conducting aerial imaging of over 100 square kilometres of suburbs and townships to map both urban green canopy and hot spots.

How cool are you?

Visit the heat map and type in your address to find out. And if it is red hot, don’t be alarmed because an urban forest is coming to a place near you. Council is propagating and sourcing plants for an army of staff and volunteers to implement an extensive planting program across the region’s reserves and public spaces.

They have planted almost 30,000 trees since 2016 so it won’t be long before the Onkaparinga landscape will look greener and grander. Amongst the diverse portfolio of plants are indigenous, natives and exotics of varying height and canopy spread, including large long-living trees such as oaks, gums, and Moreton Bay figs — planted for future generations to enjoy.

An example of legacy trees can be found at Dinton Farm Reserve, which was planted in the 1860s by our forward-thinking settlers. This is the council’s vision; to plant trees that enrich our social and environmental wellbeing, both now and into the future.

Want a cool home?

From herbs to shrubs and trees, you can plant today and both you and resident birds, butterflies and bees will enjoy the cooling benefits this summer. Any vegetation — including grass — will cool hot spots, as will water features. Local nurseries can help you choose the right plants for your place, or visit the plant selector website below.

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Billie looks to the future