Large Mature Trees

Supporting plants and animals

Trees are natural homes

Large mature trees, such as eucalyptus, are a key part of woodlands and forests. They provide homes, food and shelter for many different kinds of plants and animals. For example, more than 300 different kinds of native animals including bats, birds, possums, gliders and reptiles use tree hollows. These hollows only develop in big trees that are more than a century old.

Stepping stones across the suburbs

Large mature trees are also important ‘stepping stones’ for many plants and animals. Resting or feeding in these trees can help an animal to travel from one area of bush to another across largely cleared landscapes such as suburbs. Similarly, some plants need the shelter of large mature trees in order to grow. They can then disperse their seeds to nearby bushland.

Fading from the landscape

Large mature trees are often cut down during the construction of new suburbs. Even when they are kept, they tend to be lost before their time. One reason for this is damage to roots caused by concrete or roads compacting the soil and preventing access to water. Another factor is the need for trees to have space to grow. Often, big trees are cut down when they pose a safety risk to houses or pedestrians. This means that, over time, large mature trees are disappearing from the landscape.

What can I do?

  • Look after trees in your backyard or nature strip. Get professional advice regarding care and requirements.
  • If you have a large yard, consider planting smaller species of eucalypt. Make sure that you give trees plenty of space, away from homes or powerlines.
  • Help your local Landcare group to plant trees during winter or participate in an annual National Tree Day planting:
  • If you are lucky enough to built a new home, where possible, keep some trees on the property.