In order to effect evidence-based decisions about tree management, the NCA will require robust data and information about is trees that is monitored and evaluated to inform decision making. This will inform the trajectory of best practice methods needed for application on NCA land to achieve future landscape vision, canopy cover targets and standard of landscape excellence.
The NCA’s tree inventory is an up to date comprehensive dataset that captures important values of trees. There is more work to be done in categorising these trees as assets within the NCA reporting system, attributing them dollar asset values and prioritising their landscape functionality values e.g. shade, heritage or biodiversity, to determine management styles and succession planning.
What does best practice look like?
Full park and street tree inventory, updated annually and to include values (e.g. dollar, environmental, heritage, biodiversity etc)
Inclusion of tree inventory into asset management system and planning
Evidence based community conversations and education that reflects the data and performance of trees
Technical capacity building amongst NCA staff and relevant contractors to deliver tree management excellence
Development of a monitoring and evaluation framework that provides a feedback loop into policy, strategy and decision making.
How could these issues be addressed?
Updated tree inventory to include all trees incorporated into NCA asset management system
Scheduled annual proactive maintenance works based on ongoing assessment
Develop a street and park tree Masterplan to include tree renewals
Develop best practice technical tree management guidelines and specifications reflective of current research that encourages innovation and experimentation
Ensure budgets and resources are adequate to deliver works
Development of case studies discussing successes and failures of landscape implementations
Trials of tree species in the Lindsay Pryor National Arboretum, and in cooperation with other tree management agencies in the ACT
Incorporate results of species trials into adaptive species lists
Utilise citizen science for collecting relevant tree and landscape information
Minimum standard requirements and upskilling of contractors
Develop an appropriate monitoring and evaluation program for various aspects of NCA tree management including timeframes and feedback loops
Ensure that landscape maintenance plans complement the content of heritage management plans and address issues relating to events/use of sites to achieve excellence in the care of the landscape and risk management standards.