Wednesday, 24 February 2021 15:58

Climate Resilient Street Trees Workshop

WSROC, in partnership with Western Sydney University, hosted a Passive Irrigation Design workshop on 9 February, 2021 as part of its Climate Resilient Street Trees project. 

The workshop was the first stage in the Climate Resilient Street Trees project, which seeks to test the performance of different tree species, with and without irrigation, in the real-life context of Western Sydney streets.

Dr Paul Rymer of Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment said “our research shows that over one third of Sydney’s tree species are vulnerable to summer temperature and rainfall conditions”.

“We have already seen greater tree failures across our region due to more frequent and extreme heat and drought events. In the near future, climate change is predicted to push additional species over their climate thresholds”.

“Better species selection and management practices are critically needed to ensure we can successfully establish healthy canopy cover to mitigate the impacts of urban heat,” said Dr Rymer.

Climate Resilient Street Trees will establish demonstration sites where native and exotic tree species, with contrasting climate-risk and cooling benefits, will be planted on the streets of Western Sydney. Some trees will have access to stormwater in passive irrigation storage pits, and some will not.

The demonstration sites will allow tree performance to be monitored in terms of  canopy growth, leaf transpiration and stress, along with the benefit of passive irrigation to tree health and stormwater reduction. The outcomes of the project will inform the delivery of urban greening and cooling strategies to improve resilience and liveability across Greater Sydney.

The first step in this process is establishing an agreed passive irrigation design for street trees that:

  • Captures and delivers enough stormwater to enhance tree performance without causing water logging,
  • Are efficient to build and install with minimal maintenance needs,
  • Deliver valid research results so their effectiveness can be accurately assessed.

The February workshop saw water, heat and greening experts from government, industry and university sectors collaborate to develop a passive irrigation design for Western Sydney.

Climate Resilient Street Trees is a partnership between WSROC, Western Sydney University, Blacktown and Penrith City Councils, University of Melbourne, Stormwater NSW, and Sydney Water.

This project is part of the Greening Our City grant program that is proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Local Government NSW. 

Turn Down the Heat

WSROC and Western Sydney councils have identified urban heat and extreme heat as a key priority area for action. WSROC works with councils and other stakeholders to implement actions to mitigate and adapt to heat in the region. These actions range from research, changes to planning controls, improving emergency response and education activities. The Climate Resilient Street Trees project is one of the projects being implemented under the strategy.

More information can be found on the WSROC website:

Last modified on Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:55