Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert – Trees and vegetation
29 Jun 2021
We’re removing the dangerous and congested level crossings at Union Road, Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road, Mont Albert by lowering the rail line beneath the roads in an open trench and building a new premium station with better facilities and more services.
Major works will start in early 2022, and in the second half of 2021 we need to start preparing the site by relocating utilities, setting up our site facilities and removing vegetation that will be impacted by the works. We’ll also establish tree protection zones around existing trees.
Preserving trees and greenery
We understand trees are a key feature of this area and highly valued by the community. In response, we’re protecting many trees around the project area, including most of the mature oak trees along Windsor Crescent, and we will plant thousands of new trees and plants throughout the project area as part of our landscaping plans.
Importantly, the decision to consolidate the two stations into one will save trees, as well as homes and businesses.
We’ll also rejuvenate Lorne Parade Reserve with new landscaping and new play equipment, so that the community can enjoy this valuable green space for generations to come.
Managing tree and vegetation removal
During planning for the project, independent arborists conduct a comprehensive assessment of every tree in the project area. This helps us identify trees that:
- pose a hazard to rail operations
- will be impacted by construction of the rail trench and new premium station
- will be impacted by utility works and drainage within the tree root zone.
The information helps us develop designs and construction methods that minimise impacts to high-value trees. We will continue to carry out investigations into the root systems and health of trees during the works to retain as many trees as possible.
Assessing trees and vegetation
Each tree in the project area is individually profiled to help our team understand potential impacts to vegetation and wildlife.
Trees and vegetation assessed to determine:
- structural integrity, including the size and location of tree roots
- health and life expectancy
- amenity and environmental value
- location of services in proximity to trees
- the presence of wildlife and habitat.
Where trees are to be retained, we’ll put physical barriers in place to protect them during construction.
We work with qualified ecologists and wildlife handlers on all level crossing removal projects, who inspect vegetation for the presence of native wildlife and nests. We also engage fauna handlers to be on site during any vegetation removal works to safely relocate any fauna that we may encounter unexpectedly.
Reuse and environmental initiatives
We will work closely with the City of Boroondara and the City of Whitehorse to ensure that removed vegetation is repurposed for new uses or environmental initiatives.
Some of the opportunities we’re exploring include:
- providing logs for use in gardens and parks
- donating timber for use by artists or in community projects
- using mulch in parks and gardens.
If you are part of a local environmental or community group that could make use of timber or mulch, please get in touch.
Landscaping and replanting
The project landscaping and re-vegetation plan will see more than 52,000 new trees, shrubs, plants and grasses delivered across Surrey Hills and Mont Albert.
The project will plant a range of native trees, plants and grasses which don't require frequent watering. We'll also plant a mix of mature and young trees to ensure the landscaping has the maximum opportunity of growing successfully.
We have paid special attention to Lorne Parade Reserve. The new station precinct will integrate with the new landscaping in the reserve, so that it becomes a green heart for the project and a modern green space that the community can enjoy into the future.
Landscaping at Gardiner Station in Glen Iris