In response to our changing climate and the expansion of Penrith City, Penrith City Council is investing in substantial green infrastructure to ensure Penrith and its greater community can live comfortably and actively engage in all that our City has to offer.

The Greening our City project is an exciting project that will future proof our City in a way that will have long-lasting positive benefits. We identified in our Cooling the City Strategy the need to increase cooling across the City, and Greening our City achieves that with the planting of trees in various locations across the community.

In response to recent heat studies, Council is actively working to protect our City from rising temperatures and one of the ways we’re achieving this is by planting trees to help reduce average temperatures over time. Taking action to cool the City is essential in Penrith, especially given the increasing heat across Western Sydney during summer. It also helps reduce the urban heat island effect.

Penrith Council is the proud recipient of funding from the NSW Government’s Greening our City grant.

Research highlights the benefits of trees in urban environments which include:

  • capturing air pollution and stormwater runoff
  • increasing habitat for wildlife
  • the cooling benefits of creating shade
  • the scientific processes of evapotranspiration
  • increased property values

With this grant funding and Council contributions, Penrith Council has been able to expand its tree planting projects to take place in streets, parks, industrial estates, and major corridors across multiple locations across the Local Government Area in 2022.

Projects

Our Trees

You may be asking why we’re planting more trees around the Local Government area. More trees mean more shade, cleaner air and more beautiful places to live. But there are many other reasons why planting trees is one of the best actions in creating a legacy of livable cities. We have put together a bunch of resources to help answer this question in more detail.

The Right Tree for the Right Place

A range of native and exotic species have been carefully selected by Council’s landscape architects for planting across the various Greening our City grant-funded projects.

We considered multiple factors to ensure the right tree is selected for the right place.

For business and residential street planting, this process includes assessing:

  • utility constraints both above and below ground
  • existing infrastructure such as footpaths and boundary fences
  • maintaining safe visibility for pedestrians and driveways
  • the aspect of homes within the streets.

You may notice dwarf and smaller species have been planted where overhead powerlines are present, and a combination of large deciduous and evergreen trees have been planted near open spaces to maximise natural thermal comfort throughout the seasons i.e., allowing the sun to enter homes for warmth during winter and providing shade to cool over the warmer months.

For planting in parks and reserves, increasing shade is the priority. When selecting the tree species, we took into consideration the line of sight from rest areas to play equipment to ensure families can use the space safely and comfortably.

We have taken similar considerations into account with our other Greening our City grant tree planting projects which are taking place throughout the Local Government Area under Council’s Green Grid and Cooling the City strategic plans, with all designs working to complement any existing greenery in the area.

Tree growth rate and expected size at full maturity may differ from the species information that you find on the Internet. We have calculated this tree height according to our local environment and soil conditions to give you an indication of what size we anticipate the trees to reach at full maturity.

How we're supporting the growth of the trees

We're dedicated to implementing sustainable planting practices wherever possible. We've been listening to community feedback and are planting these trees with Waterwell plant collars to help keep lawns clean and make it easier for you when mowing your lawn.

These collars retain moisture at the tree roots, help concentrate mulch and fertiliser on the plant and reduce the amount of watering maintenance required.

The plant collar creates a neat finish when we've completed the planting and will help you easily mow your lawn around your growing tree.

The Waterwell plant collars are reusable and made from recycled UV stabilised plastic.

Benefits of Trees

You may be asking why we’re planting more trees around the Local Government area. More trees mean more shade, cleaner air and more beautiful places to live. But there are many other reasons why planting trees is one of the best actions in creating a legacy of livable cities.

Planting trees has several benefits, including: 1. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere while producing the oxygen we breathe. 2. A 5% increase in tree canopy can lower daytime temperatures by 2.3 degrees Celsius. 3. For every 5% of urban tree
Evapotranspiration is a benefit of planting trees. It involves precipitation, evaporation and transpiration.

What is evapotranspiration?

Plants absorb water from the soil through their roots. The water is later released into the atmosphere as vapour via the surface of their leaves. This process is known as "transpiration".

Water also evaporates directly into the atmosphere from the soil surrounding the plant, including any water droplets on the stem and leaves.

Scientists refer to the combination of these processes as "evapotranspiration".

About Heat

On a clear summer day with air temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, surface temperatures of commonly found ground covers can be much, much hotter!

This is how hot some of these ground covers can get on a typical Australian summer day:

  • Black asphalt: 50-60 degrees Celsius
  • Light-coloured concrete: 45-55 degrees Celsius
  • Bare soil: 60-70 degrees Celsius
  • Green grass: 35-40 degrees Celsius

Tree shade can reduce surface temperatures of hard surfaces by 20 degrees Celsius or more.

Thermal images taken during January 2017’s heatwave show the impact of urban heat islands in Melbourne. Taken by an Elizabeth Street heat camera opposite Queen Victoria Market. Photograph: City of Melbourne.

Thermal images taken during January 2017’s heatwave show the impact of urban heat islands in Melbourne. Taken by an Elizabeth Street heat camera opposite Queen Victoria Market. Photograph: City of Melbourne.