Transport Canberra and City Services

Design Standards 23 draft tree species list

Design Standards 23 plant species for urban landscape projects is being updated, particularly the tree species listing. The proposed new tree list contains approximately 210 tree species including 80 new species.

To provide extended information each tree species now has an individual fact sheet on it. Please note the heights and widths presented are typical averages of mature trees grown in Canberra conditions. The factsheets are in the existing categories of native, introduced and conifer across the three height ranges.

Extra tree species or cultivars can be proposed to Urban Treescapes for consideration.

Available Soil Volume is a new concept being proposed in parallel with the new tree species list. An Available Soil Volume for each tree species/cultivar has been proposed to ensure the following:

  • suitable underground space to support healthy tree root growth, for healthy trees that grow to their potential
  • suitable underground space for trees to coexist with other urban infrastructure in the verge
  • minimal future management problems for all services in the verge, including trees.

Two draft drawings demonstrate how the available soil volume concept could fit into a typical nature strip/verge, particularly at design stage:

Feedback Opportunity

Urban Treescapes are currently seeking feedback from industry professionals. Feedback will focus on three main things:

  1. Concerns with individual species
    Are the heights and widths, use considerations and restrictions presented appropriate? If you think a species is unsuitable for Canberra conditions please say so.
  2. Available Soil Volume
    Is the concept of Available Soil Volume practical? How would you apply the requirement to future urban design?
  3. Extra tree species or cultivar
    Do you have suggestions of tree species or cultivar that are not on the draft table? If you do please put it forward with your justification to be considered.

Please email completed feedback template (Word 37KB) to If you require further information the Urban Treescapes’ Policy, Planning and Contracts Manager can be contacted by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81. Feedback will be accepted until Wednesday 24 December 2015.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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