Lusitanica H 15m Canopy 21m

‘Canberra’s urban forest is a key part of what makes our city the most liveable in Australia. The urban forest, made up of all trees, vegetation and systems that support them, is part of our identity as the bush capital: a city within a landscape.’

Chris Steele, Minister for Transport and City Services, Urban Forest Strategy 2021-2045

We’re encouraging community members to protect their favourite urban tree by putting in an application for its registration and then celebrating when it is successfully registered with a big hug and picnic under its canopy.

The ACT Government has recognised the importance of Canberra’s urban forest with the release of the Urban Forest Strategy in March 2021.  It’s a good read.

Canberra’s tree canopy has been declining over the past few decades.  Our urban forest is facing a number of challenges from changing climate, urban development, ageing trees and inadequate species diversity.  The urban forest that we all benefit from today is the result of considerable investment and protection by those previously responsible for the urban forest.  Saving the urban forest requires community support to deliver the actions in the Urban Forest Strategy including improving the legislative protection of our trees and partnering with government to grow and maintain our urban forest.

The protection of an urban trees largely depends on where the tree is growing.  If the tree is on private leased land it is regulated and given some protection by the Tree Protection Act 2005.  Trees on public land have little protection.  Often trees on public land suffer damage from cars being parked over their roots or encroaching urban construction.

REGULATED TREES include any trees that meet a set of criteria and are on private land. The criteria for regulation currently is a tree that is 12m or taller, with a canopy 12m or wider, trunk circumference of 1.5m (measured 1m from natural ground level) or if there are multiple trunks the total circumference is 1.5m (also measured 1m from natural ground level).  Regulated trees can be removed if they meet certain criteria in agreement with the Planning Authority.

REGISTERED TREES have the highest level of protection and cannot be removed or damaged.  Registered trees are protected because of their exceptional natural or cultural heritage, landscape and aesthetic or scientific value. Trees on both public and leased land can be registered. Registered trees can only be removed if the registration is cancelled and this can only be done in limited circumstances.

While we wait for the Government to increase the protection trees please do your favourite tree a favour and register it.  Trees are only registered if a community member makes an application.

Click here for the tree registration application form

To see (some) trees that are already registered near you click here 

You might even recognise this Red Spotted Gum at Corrobboree Park Ainslie. It’s registered and protected.

Send us a photo of your favourite urban tree @

  • The CURRENT building should be considered for heritage listing – architecture and significant Ainslie building from early 1900s
  • There are currently 19 trees on the block, of which, 16 are proposed to be removed and one other pruned by half therefore removing the bird habitat provided by the tallest tree; 7 of these trees to be are Protected – so should not be removed!
  • The last 3 remaining trees on the block – all protected trees have buildings proposed in their protection zones so will be impacted or potentially killed by the building
  • All other shrubs on the block are to be removed – including those on the outside of the existing fence – removing all shrubs from the Bill Pye Park area completely
  • All the protection for any animal or birds living and coming to the park will be gone after the development completion
  • 6 trees in the Park have canopies extending over this block, the buildings are proposed in all their protection zones, this is not be approved and will impact or kill the these trees

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