Sun-damaged leaves on a street tree in Western Sydney


Species selection and passive irrigation for a cool urban canopy


More frequent, and extreme heat and drought events are resulting in greater tree failures. Currently over one third of Sydney’s urban tree species are vulnerable to summer temperature and rainfall conditions, and climate change is predicted to push additional species over their climate thresholds. Better species selection and irrigation practices are critically needed.


This project will establish street tree demonstration sites across the Penrith and Blacktown Local Government Areas. A selection of species with varied climate-risk and cooling benefits will be planted with and without access to stormwater in passive irrigation storage pits.


Tree performance will be monitored to assess growth, leaf transpiration and stress over the establishment period. The project will quantify species drought/heatwave tolerance and cooling capacity in the streets of Western Sydney. Furthermore, the project will determine the benefit of passive irrigation for diverse, cool, urban canopy. The outcomes of the project will inform the delivery of urban greening and cooling strategies to improve resilience and liveability across Greater Sydney.


Strategy action: 8. Urban forest strategy


Project timeframe: 2020 - 2022


Project partners: WSROC (lead), Western Sydney University (research lead), Melbourne University, Blacktown City Council, Penrith City Council, Stormwater NSW, Sydney Water.


Contact: Judith Bruinsma, Project Coordinator, 02 9671 4333



This project is part of the Greening Our City grant program that is proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Local Government NSW