His early experience in the family’s nursery and landscaping business followed by study at Melbourne’s Burnley College prepared Chris well for a career in arboriculture and urban forestry. Building on his experience on the tools, his time at Burnley introduced him to the pursuit of best-practice arboriculture and importantly to the wonder of all things trees. Chris worked in the private sector including as a self-employed consulting arborist before building his career in local government where he supported tree protection and urban development in Adelaide’s western suburbs before taking up his role as Urban Forest Officer with Mount Barker District Council fifteen years ago. The opportunities and challenges of the developing Mount Barker district allow Chris to indulge his passion for urban trees. Whether he’s working with engineers to develop ways to add trees in urban areas or with planners to retain remnant trees as new housing encroaches around them, his collaborative approach and drive to provide urban forests for community and environmental wellbeing are obvious. His understanding of tree time, the changing climate, intergenerational equity and legacy guide his species selections far beyond Pyrus calleryana. Chris is a self-confessed tree, garden and outdoors action tragic who is generally obsessed with the natural world and the wonder of the universe beyond it.
Treenet Symposium Speaker
Engineered spaces for trees in Mt Barker District Council
In 2010 approximately 1300 hectares of rural land in Mount Barker District Council was rezoned by the state government for residential development. Due to its expansive 595 square kilometre hills location and proximity to Adelaide the district’s population is now growing at 3.5% per year, nearly 7 times the rate of metropolitan Adelaide, and it will become South Australia’s second largest city within a decade. Growth has increased pressure on existing infrastructure across Mt Barker and the district’s other towns, and urbanisation has encroached on large, remnant native trees. Successfully preserving and planting trees during development and infrastructure renewal and upgrading projects demands best practice. This paper presents examples of planning, engineering and urban forestry creative best practice. Design case studies include road alignment to retain remnant trees, public open space provision to preserve trees, street tree planting for traffic calming, and stormwater detention basin design to preserve existing trees and support additional planting. Case studies demonstrating engineering best practice for trees include the use of structural soil, continuous tree trenches, and retrofitting of trial species in traffic calming roundabouts.