Flora sprouting in our streets

GREEN TEAM: Council workers installing new plants. Photo: supplied.

GREEN TEAM: Council workers installing new plants. Photo: supplied.

Whyalla's streets just got a little more lush through a new partnership between the Whyalla City Council and SA Power Networks.

The project involves planting new tree species that are suitable to plant under powerlines to ensure the right tree is planted in the right location.

SA Power Networks is required to prune trees around powerlines to maintain legislated clearances to ensure community safety.

A lot of this pruning involves legacy trees - large trees planted inappropriately under power lines over time. This has resulted in escalating costs of pruning which is passed on to electricity consumers.

Council proposes to plant the selected species Corymbia eximia 'Nana' and Eucalyptus kruseana at two locations - Gowrie Ave median strips and Ekblom Street.

Mayor Clare McLaughlin said that Council was pleased to work with SA Power Networks to trial species suitable for planting under power lines.

"We believe this is a positive step towards the creation of beautiful, shady streetscapes in Whyalla," she said.

"Better outcomes will be achieved for the community over time as the trees that are to be planted will function in harmony with powerlines, rather than in conflict with them."

An Advisory Committee has been established to develop a long-term strategy for appropriate species selection.

Membership includes representatives from Green Adelaide, Treenet, the Local Government Association, the Office of the Technical Regulator, SA Water, the Botanic Gardens, Adelaide University, the nursery industry and SA Power Networks.

SA Power Network Arborist Reference Group member Kelvin Trimper said it was important for councils to ensure species planted under powerlines develop environmental amenity while reducing the need for ongoing pruning.

"If we get it right now we can help keep a lid on the long term costs of pruning for future generations, while continuing to green our town environments," he said.