The Register of Significant Trees 2013 was researched and compiled over a year from May 2012 to May 2013. The study involved reviewing the existing 2005 register, subsequent studies and photographic records as well as planning instruments and policies. Aerial mapping of trees was confirmed by “ground truthing” – a detailed field investigation and examination of the condition of specimens. It included evaluating and assessing significance, examining potential threats and future directions for heritage protection.

In accordance with the City’s competitive tender policy, Arterra Design Pty Ltd was selected to prepare, update and review the 2013 register. Established in 1995, by Rob Smart, Director, Principal Landscape Architect (AAILA) and Senior Consulting Arborist (AQF5), Arterra Design provides a unique skillset, specialising in landscape architecture and consulting arboriculture.

As Lead Consultant, Arterra worked with a team of specialists to research, refine and update the Register of Significant Trees.  Arterra’s holistic view of trees within the cultural landscape has developed through a deep understanding and appreciation of the role of trees within urban settings. With over twenty years experience on numerous landscape heritage projects, Arterra provided the experience and expertise to bring the Register of Significant Trees together as a coherent and readable document that is now accessible in various printed and electronic formats.

Arterra engaged the services of John Oultram and Colleen Morris as specialist landscape heritage advisors for their team.

Colleen Morris is a heritage consultant, who specialises in gardens and landscapes. She is the author of the award-winning Lost Gardens of Sydney (2008), published by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW. She has written numerous articles and papers for journals and National Trust publications and was a major contributor to the Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens (2002).

John Oultram runs a heritage and design practice, which specialises in the provision of heritage conservation plans and heritage impact statements. The company is listed on the Heritage Office of NSW’s register of heritage consultants.


The City’s staff will review the register annually, and plans a comprehensive review after 10 years. Importantly, the information on this website will be amended and updated more frequently than the print copy of the register, which will have minimal changes made until the next comprehensive review in 2022.

If you consider a tree meets the Classification Criteria, send an email to Find out more about making new nominations.

The enhanced status of significant trees will be used to promote broader community awareness and to highlight the City of Sydney Council’s commitment to protecting these special trees and their contextual landscapes.

Further community-based opportunities may include volunteer involvement and education in appropriate conservation strategies.