A green Samson is cool

SAMSON is the big winner in Fremantle council’s push to turn the city into an “urban forest”.

The suburb had the highest number of trees planted (212) in the 2017/18 financial year as part of the Greening Samson project.

Research for the Urban Forest Plan revealed the suburb had some of the lowest canopy coverage in Fremantle, meaning Samson was on average two degrees hotter than nearby areas due to the urban heat island effect.

Over the last 12 months the city has planted more than 1800 trees, after doubling its tree-planting budget from $60,000 to $120,000.

A total of 299 were planted in Beaconsfield, Hilton and Fremantle, and 203 in South Fremantle, North Fremantle, White Gum Valley and O’Connor.

The species of trees planted included red flowering gums, bottlebrushes, jacarandas and tuart trees, with varieties chosen to suit the local conditions and surroundings.

The city also planted 12,000 plants in dunes, bushland and the river foreshore during nine community and 21 volunteer planting days.

Fremantle council parks manager Ryan Abbott said it was all part of the plan to “progressively increase tree planting across the city to achieve at least 20 per cent canopy coverage.

“An assessment last year showed our canopy coverage was around 13 per cent, so to hit the 20 per cent target we have an ongoing tree planting and revegetation program and are integrating new trees into road and path upgrades wherever we can.

“For this current financial year we’re looking to continue to expand our tree-planting program and plant another 1000 trees across Fremantle.”

In the 2017-18 financial year, a total of 714 trees were planted by the city on residential verges and in local parks.

Another 92 were added as “landscaping” to pocket parks, car parks and walkways.

As well as reducing the urban heat island effect by providing more shade, trees also absorb carbon dioxide, filter air pollutants and cool a suburb.

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