Protecting our exceptional trees

27 March 2023

Learn about our Exceptional Tree Register and how you can protect our urban forest for future generations. 

We’ve just added 108 special trees to the Exceptional Tree Register, which means a total of 268 special trees are now protected from being removed or significantly pruned. 
These trees are on privately owned or managed land and include those of outstanding size, old age, outstanding habitat value, Aboriginal association, curious growth form, significant environmental services, among other exceptional criteria. 
Trees are nominated by the community and then evaluated by an expert panel. 
You can nominate any tree on private land within the City of Melbourne. This could be trees in private backyards, residential communal gardens, schools and universities – we even have exceptional trees at some of our favourite places to visit like Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne Museum and Yarra Park.
Listed trees are protected under the Melbourne Planning Scheme and a permit is needed to remove them or to undertake works that might affect their health or condition. 

Next time you’re out and about, check out these exceptional trees: 

Lemon-scented Gums

Tree 140 and tree 141 on our Exceptional Tree Register are a pair of Lemon-scented Gums (Corymbia citriodora) that are a dominant feature of the University of Melbourne Parkville campus. 

A close-up photo of the trunk of a tree. Bark is peeling off the trunk.
It’s not only the size of these Lemon Scented Gums that make them exceptional, the form of the trunk is also considered special.

Sugar Gum

Tree 163 is a large, spectacular specimen of Sugar Gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx) that dominates the Melbourne Museum forecourt. 

A very tall gum tree stands in front of Melbourne Museum.
This Sugar Gum makes for an impressive welcome to the Melbourne Museum forecourt.

Port Jackson Fig

Tree 170 is attractive for its curious growth form. This Port Jackson Fig (Ficus rubiginosais perched atop a stone wall at RMIT University with long aerial roots draped down metres to the ground. 

A close-up photo of the exposed roots of tree. The roots are attached to a wall.
This Port Jackson Fig at RMIT has a curious root system.

Common Coral Tree

Tree 171 is found in a unique location within the heart of the city in Exhibition Street. This landmark tree is an excellent specimen of the Common Coral Tree (Erythrina x sykesii) which provides good canopy and shade in summer. 

A textured tree trunk surrounded by leafy branches.
Not only beautiful to look at, the Common Coral Tree also provides good shade.

Avenue of English Elms

Tree 175 is an avenue of 74 English Elms (Ulmus procera) of varying age that form the 1889 Queens Walk. They provide a significant contribution to the historic Yarra Park landscape, and a shaded, active transport route for Melburnians. 

Three large trees form an avenue alongside a road.
This avenue of English Elms in Yarra Park provides a cool route in warmer weather.

River Red Gum  

Tree 176 in Yarra Park is a living Scarred tree with Aboriginal significance and is likely to be about 300 years old. The scar on this River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) was created when the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples removed bark to make canoes, shields, food and water containers, string, baby carriers and other items. 

Close-up of a gum tree that has bark missing. Gum leave hang from the branches.
This River Red Gum was of particular importance to Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples.

To see which trees made the list or for more information, visit our Exceptional Tree Register.

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