Introduction to the Australian Urban Street Tree Evaluation Program ( AUSTEP )
All municipalities devote significant resources to maintaining / upgrading major assets in their streets, parks and gardens to meet growing community expectations.
Trees are a major asset, therefore it is the responsibility of tree planners and practitioners to develop and enhance their street and open space planting.
Issues and requirements like ongoing maintenance, liability, the provision of better community amenity areas and smaller residential land holdings, necessitate the need to do it better in tree planning and implementation.
Historically, councils have to some degree utilised a narrow range of species when planting out their streets, parks and gardens. Today, a wider palette of exotic and native species / cultivars is available and more and more cities and shires are planting these varieties.
Pyrus calleryana 'Glen's Form' Chanticleer®,
Roeburn St, Lockleys, South Australia.
The development of a progressive ongoing evaluation resource is vital to ensuring we make better decisions for the future. Proper evaluation of trees is a task that is rewarded by the broad spread of valuable information and knowledge gained.
AUSTEP began in October 2001 with a small group of industry people who put together a format to undertake tree evaluations in municipalities and other notable areas like state parks. The major benefit of this undertaking is sustainable ongoing evaluation and information on many species / cultivars, planted across widely varied geographical locations and differing site conditions.
The AUSTEP Committee was comprised of a broad group of practitioners across many disciplines and industry segments. Pen sketches on the committee outline their broad depth of experience across areas like arboriculture, management, landscape architecture, urban design and general horticulture.
From 2001-2008, an evaluation sub committee has embarked on a significant field evaluation agenda. All committee members took their turn to be involved in the small team that covers various regions, working with personnel from municipalities to build the information base.
In 2012 all of the street trees previously assessed will be re-assessed by Fleming’s Nursery staff. We will also be assessing more trees and welcome your sugestions on street trees to evaluate.
www.austep.net.au is not just a web site, it is your online resource. A continual reference and work in progress as we update, add new evaluations, provide items of interest, and news on tree happenings. We welcome your feedback on evaluations undertaken and would love you to participate in an evaluation day.
We invite you to register your tree site or sites on the form available from this resource.
We look forward to your involvement in AUSTEP.