Working Through the Night On Melbourne’s Urban Forest Trees

Every year, the roads and footpaths beneath our Urban Forest trees become busier with increased numbers of people visiting, living and working in our city centres.

In recent years, there has been a strong push urging City goers to leave their cars at home and instead use public transport, ride sharing, cycling or other passive means.

This has been forced upon us through the construction of more bike lanes, reduction of vehicle lanes, lowering of speed limits and reduction in kerbside car parking spaces available in our city’s streets.

These initiatives are creating greener, cleaner, safer and more liveable cities for us all to enjoy.

But the ever-increasing challenge is on street tree maintenance Arborists to find innovative solutions to obtain clear access to roadside trees to undertake their Arboricultural maintenance (and emergency) works, with a safe working zone below.

It is fast becoming virtually impossible to park trucks and set up equipment such as Elevated Work Platforms (EWPs) and chippers next to the street tree to be worked on during the day in our city centres.

With an increase in pedestrian traffic on footpaths and cyclists on roads, comes an increase in potential targets that need to be kept clear of our work area.

One innovative solution that our Citywide Tree Maintenance crew have adopted, is to prune the trees at night time whilst the city’s streets and footpaths are virtually deserted.

In January, every year our highly skilled and dedicated Arboricultural staff switch from day shift to night shift to undertake Tree maintenance works on street trees within the Melbourne CBD.

Armed with head torches, battery powered chain saws, hand saws, secateurs and trailer-mounted light towers, our Arborists conduct their tree pruning works with minimal disruption to the city’s businesses, residents and visitors.

All pruned branches are stacked for chipping during daylight hours if the space allows, or ferried off-site in tray trucks.

Having delivered a successful night works program for many years now, Citywide’s Melbourne Trees team has an intimate working knowledge of all of the trees in Melbourne’s CBD: how to best access them and at what time of the night, based on our learned knowledge of the City’s businesses opening and closing times.

This intimate knowledge allows us to maximise our efficiency and productivity whilst maintaining a safe worksite for our staff.

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