Global review of incentive schemes aims to support the establishment & retention of trees in local communities

Friday, 3 May 2019

A new project is looking at ways to support local communities in retaining existing trees, replacing removed trees and encouraging new trees on commercial and residential land.

Led by the University of Melbourne and RMIT, the nursery levy funded project will run for nine months and include a comprehensive literature review, conversations with leaders in the field, and a series of international workshops.

The main aim is to clarify which mechanisms may be suitable and effective for Australian councils to consider when it comes to retaining and planting more trees in workplaces and homes.

The first phase of the review involves the team collecting international published literature, as well as government resources and articles from around the world, on current incentive schemes for trees on private land.

It will identify cities that have successfully developed incentive policies, regulation or other innovative means to retain and increase trees in private space. Identifying steps taken to achieve these positive outcomes could help our Australian growers, councils and communities.

The second phase of the project will involve hosting workshops at two leading conferences in Europe in June this year: the first ever ‘Nature of Cities’ conference being held in Paris, France and the annual ‘European Forum on Urban Forests’ in Cologne, Germany.

The workshops will provide a great opportunity to interview and consult with world-leading policy makers, industry bodies, academics, town planners and growers, on increasing tree retention and planting in privately-owned urban areas.

With a key practitioner focus, the workshops will unearth lessons learnt and successful tree retention strategies from around the world, which will help inform case-studies and context for the project’s final report.

The report is due in December this year. It will include key findings from the review as well as the qualitative survey of opinions and values, as documented from the overseas workshops.

The project is an important step for the Australian nursery industry, which recently completed its Green Light Tour with key government, production and landscape professionals last year.

The outcomes of the tour highlighted that community attitudes towards green space – particularly on private land – was a challenging and often misunderstood area.

As a result, ‘Understanding the attitudes to urban green space for government and business audiences’ (NY18006) also stemmed from this tour; together they’ll form the basis of the Better Together Tour planned for later this year.

Better knowledge of what is happening globally, as well as strategies to communicate the value of trees in our communities, is a positive step for all those involved in the production, planting and maintaining of trees in private spaces.


For more information about the project, please contact:

Stephen Livesley, University of Melbourne at: or 0439 615 772


A ‘Global review of incentive schemes for the retention and successful establishment of trees on private urban land’ (NY18002) is funded by Hort Innovation using nursery industry levies and funds from the Australian Government.