The mature landscapes of the nineteenth century are aging and increasingly threatened by a range of urban impacts. We need to make important decisions over the coming years on the way we manage and replace ageing trees.

Like all living organisms, the mature trees listed on the register will eventually become old and die. The significant trees are often part of an ageing landscape – one that evokes a vast range of personal values and associations. It is something that Sydney is passionate about.

The recent debate over removal and replacement of figs in the Fig Avenue on the Cahill Expressway and Hospital Road in the Domain is testament to the emotions which some of these trees evoke. The eventual loss of any significant trees will undoubtedly stimulate further debate in the future.

As these trees near the end of their life cycle, it is important that we make informed decisions based on a better understanding of their requirements in an urban environment.

Replacing significant trees

The City of Sydney has a tree management policy which covers:

• tree protection, including protecting significant trees

• tree replacement and removal

• tree planting and selection

• tree asset management

• community consultation and engagement.

When significant trees die, we select replacement species based on detailed street master plans. The plans fit in with the landscape in particular precincts. The City plants a mix of exotic and native species and aims to find the right tree for the right location. Find out more about the City’s tree policies.