Brisbane's urban forest

Brisbane’s urban forest includes all trees and other vegetation, on public and private land. The trees that make up Brisbane's urban forest contribute to our subtropical landscape character and biodiversity.

Future goals and targets to enhance and sustain our urban forest are to:

  • increase tree shade cover to 50% for footpaths and bikeways in residential areas by 2031
  • increase shade at bus stops
  • transform major entry roads to the city into subtropical boulevards.

Brisbane’s urban forest facts

Our subtropical climate and history of development has delivered a mixture of native and exotic species from forest giants to colourful shrubs and ground covers.

Facts about Brisbane's urban forest.

  • Brisbane's tree canopy cover is 44% across the 1338 square kilometre Brisbane local government area.
  • Citywide, 57% of Brisbane’s tree canopy cover is on public land.
  • Across the residential suburbs, 39% of tree canopy cover is growing in public parks.
  • Brisbane’s urban forest stores an estimated 1.9 million tonnes of carbon.
  • Brisbane’s urban forest removes about 1.45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (equalling 10% of our city’s emissions).
  • Our tree canopy cover makes leafy parts of Brisbane up to seven degrees cooler than treeless areas.
  • Brisbane’s 2500 flora species support more than 550 vertebrate fauna and many invertebrate species.

Benefits of trees and our urban forest

Urban trees provide benefits that are important to our city’s liveability and subtropical landscape character. Our urban forest:

  • provides shade and cooling, encouraging a healthy outdoor lifestyle
  • helps reduce energy consumption (by buffering the urban heat island effect)
  • provides the natural structure of Brisbane's subtropical character and scenic amenity
  • produces oxygen and consumes carbon dioxide, trapping carbon and helping to reduce greenhouse gases
  • supports habitat and food for wildlife
  • helps reduce dust, pollution, wind speeds and the effects of UV radiation
  • helps manage stormwater run-off and soil erosion
  • provides strong links to nature, our natural and cultural history and sense of local identity
  • contributes to individual property values, tourism and vitality of business centres.

Tree management

Council actively manages the trees that grow on our own lands, including street trees and park trees, in partnership with the community. Each year our tree management activities include:

  • caring for newly planted trees to grow strong, healthy and fit for purpose
  • inspecting and trimming programs minimising risks of trees to people and property
  • removing and replacing trees to sustain our urban forest for everyone to enjoy in the future
  • being prepared for storm season
  • protecting and celebrating our significant street and park trees.

Caring for trees

Everyone can contribute to Brisbane’s environment by planting and caring for Brisbane's trees. Find out details about:

Protecting trees

Be aware of what is growing in your garden or on your footpath and what is permitted. Find out details about:

Growing and enjoying the urban forest

Find out about other events and activities happening around Brisbane to help grow our urban forest.

Last updated:10 May 2019