The City of Fremantle targets under Land and Nature are:
- Average of 1000 trees per year as per annual tree plating targets in the Urban Forest Plan
- Increase tree canopy cover to 20% by 2027.
This page contains information on the following:
- The City's Urban Forest Plan
- Urban Heat Island Effect
- Incentives to retain trees and native vegetation
The Urban Forest Plan (UFP) was adopted in July 2017 and provides an overall comprehensive plan for the long term management and establishment of trees in the City.
The Fremantle 2029 Community Visioning process identified a clear long–term vision to be a sustainable, liveable and vibrant place over the coming decades. A key value identified is the City of Fremantle (City)’s green spaces and places, with a fundamental responsibility to protect and enhance the natural environment, green spaces and heritage features of the City.
The UFP provides an opportunity to contribute to achieving this core community wellbeing and environmental value. An urban forest provides residents and the City’s community with critical ecosystem services such as air and water filtration, shade, cooling, habitat, oxygen, carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling.
Urban Forest Plan Targets
The UFP is based on a core objective to increase in tree canopy cover to 20%, and sets a series of planting targets to help achieve this.
Targets are defined for four distinct areas in the City (North, East, West and South) based on topography, geology and land use typology, as shown in the picture below.
The table below shows the total number of trees (new and replacement) to be planted each year in each area, as outlined in the UFP. For further details, refer to the Urban Forest Plan.
The table below shows the total number of trees planted since the UFP was adopted. The table was reported in a Council item from April 2021. The total number of trees planted to date is greater than the targets in the Urban Forest Plan.
Street and Park
Street and Park
Street and Park
Street and Park
Total trees planted
Thermal mapping is complete and forms an important part in identifying priority planting to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE).
The UHIE occurs because of the capacity (thermal mass) of darker surfaces (roofs, concrete and bitumen) to absorb the sun’s energy, converting up to 80 per cent of sunlight into heat that is stored and then released, raising local temperatures. Trees help reduce the heat in these areas by providing shade. As development occurs, these darker, absorbent surfaces and materials will increase, while the overall extent of vegetation, shade and open spaces will decrease. (Cooling Cities – Urban Heat Island Effect, AILA 2016). Other factors such as the sea breeze also affect temperatures.
Thermal mapping was carried out in 2015 and is reported in the UFP. The graphs below show the findings.
The City provides a number of annual schemes to assist residents to maintain street trees and create a successful verge garden including:
- Cheap plants: The native plant subsidy scheme runs every year from May 1-30, allowing residents to purchase up to 40 low cost native plants from local nursery APACE. (Note we have sold out of available subsidised plant vouchers for 2021).
- Free mulch: Mulching is one of the many easy ways you can develop a water wise native garden. Subject to availability, City of Fremantle residents can collect mulch from the Fremantle Recycling Centre for use on their verges. Proof of residency is required to receive free mulch.
- Free street trees: Fremantle residents can apply to have a street tree planted on their verge at no cost to the property owner. To request a tree simply complete the e-services (Parks & Landscape) request online, or contact us at 1300 MY FREO.
Further information can be found on the following pages:
Significant tree register
Trees that are listed on the City's significant tree register are recognised for their contribution to the local environment, and are protected under the City's Local Planning Scheme. Only trees and vegetation located on private property are eligible for listing on the register. Property owners are able to self-nominate a tree or vegetation area within their property for inclusion on the register.
Website information regarding the CoF significant tree register can be found at Significant tree register | City of Fremantle
Local planning policy 2.23, which contains the current register of significant trees, can be found at LPP 2.23 - Significant Trees and Vegetation Areas - Oct 2020.pdf (fremantle.wa.gov.au)
Street and reserve tree policy
Trees on public land (under the City’s care and control) cannot be removed without the City’s approval, and are protected under Council’s Street and Reserve Tree policy.
Planning requirements for new development
Retention of trees on private property is strongly encouraged, even where redevelopment is occurring. Some of the planning initiatives which support this include:
- New requirements introduced into the state government policy governing residential development (the R-Codes). These include a requirement for the provision of trees in new development and extra incentives for the retention of trees on apartment sites. Further changes are being considered for ‘medium density’ (eg townhouse and villa) type development.
- Freo Alternative - The Freo Alternative is a ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas. It provides an alternative option to landowners in certain areas of the City of Fremantle, without impacting or changing the current zoning or density. The planning requirements include that at least one mature tree to be retained or planted. Refer to Freo Alternative | City of Fremantle
- Proposed introduction of tree retention as one of the criteria for achieving the higher density in the areas of the City zoned with a split density.
- Requirements for some specific redevelopment sites eg Burt Street.
Development standards can sometimes be relaxed to allow for retention of a tree/s however these are assessed on a site by site basis.