Mapping of Trees in Kent Town


The Tree Mapping project was launched in October 2019 within the umbrella of KTRA’s Greening of Kent Town activities and was carried on in 2020 by Kate Eatts, David Shores, David Plumridge and Dave Baker.

It was held for KTRA members to learn together how to map trees in Kent Town and commenced with a workshop held at the SA Country Women’s Association premises on Dequetteville Terrace.

The workshop was to learn how to use the Collector app and was conducted by Patrick Horkings and Jamie Tyler (final year students from UniSA whose work was supervised by Dr Stefan Peters) and attended by 6 KTRA members.

The students had developed the app comprising all the trees in Kent Town which was later edited to show only street trees. The app could then be used to enter a drop-down list of species; a place to enter the street name and number of a nearby property; identify the “mapper” and also attach a photo of the tree. So, it showed in words and photographs what street trees were recorded, where and by whom.

The mapping of trees across the Kent Town streets started soon after, with Kent Town being divided into 6 sections and each of us working on one. A second workshop was held in November, with Stefan Peters from UniSA, who responded to difficulties and questions raised after trialling the app.

In the months since November 2019 we have checked that all the trees located on the app are, in fact, street trees and not on private property. We’ve also checked that all the trees in a street are shown on the app. On the app we have been naming the species, but it is tricky (there is a choice for “unknown” included in the species drop-down list, a choice that has been much used!)

We’ve met as a group a number of times to check on progress and decided we need a kit to help identify the trees. NPSP Council provided us a spreadsheet listing all the species in Kent Town and the address and coordinates of where they were planted. However, we found that the information was not up to date with trees no longer existing or different species planted.

Ben Seamark, from TREENET generously assisted with tree identification – both identifying those we don’t know and confirming the trees we think we do know. With his help we have compiled photos of the tree, leaves and seeds of each species so that we can complete the task of naming all the species in our sections. You can view the progress here: 

This will be invaluable for later collection use and in training courses.

Where are we going with this?

  • One aim was to introduce Citizen Science to the residents of Kent Town and develop a sense of community connectedness by working together on a project.
  • A second aim was to have the tree map and associated photos available on the KTRA website to increase environmental knowledge about our street trees. Anyone using the map could identify any tree they see in Kent Town, especially near where they live.
  • Another aim was to identify streets where there are no, or very few trees, so that we can work with NPSP council to increase the tree canopy in Kent Town. As an early part of the project we wrote to the council with a request that they include in their budget the replacement of 18 street trees in Kent Town, to replace those which had died or been cut down and left a vacant space.

Climate Change: Introduction to Trees in Kent Town 

We are concerned about Climate Change and so held a Climate Change in Kent Town Conference in 2019.

We knew that Kent Town is badly off in terms of tree canopy cover and hard reflective surfaces making it hotter. This is evident in the NPSP report (referred to on P.7 of the  A Liveable Kent Town: Our Plan) and Heat Mapping reports. (see Footnote below)

We can’t do much about private property but can influence what happens in the streets and between buildings.

We also know from NPSP Council records that of the 25 suburbs in the Council district, Kent Town is served poorly. This table indicates where Kent Town ranks in street trees.

Kent Town has no parks or useable public green space as our report indicates.

So, we developed A Liveable Kent Town: Our Plan which details the things we see are needed in Kent Town and the reasons why. It addresses the ‘public realm’ matters predominantly, such as greening things like trees and verges, and traffic management things about safety like streets, footpaths, lighting and traffic.

We continue to work with staff and students of the Environmental & Geographic Services School at UniSA who develop apps and training and support to do several projects, such as Mapping Street Trees in Kent Town and other private realm activities such as Mapping Trees in PAC, and Mapping Trees in Dr Kent’s Paddock.

(They are also engaged in working with the KTRA providing mapping support for a History Tour of Kent Town, a Street Art Trail in Kent Town, a Stobie Pole Art walk in Kent Town and a Reporting Faults in Kent Town facility).

As a result, KTRA members have mapped all street trees in Kent Town. Here is the KTRA database (Excel File) which lists the trees by locations and species in each street.

In line with Citizen Science principles, we are looking to make collected data available for public access. Where we can (we are volunteers with limited resources) we will also publish how we have done things to share ideas around.

As importantly, we worked out (using NPSP practices) the average spacing between trees and so developed this list of trees needed in each street and published it in A Liveable Kent Town: Our Plan.

We are commencing to offer support for local action by each street community and to help by sharing experiences and making street level information (trees, verges, stobie poles, art, historic buildings, other features) available about each street. KTRA can also assist with applying for, managing and acquitting funding to pay for initiatives.

Local action needs to be generated and supported by local ideas and people.

Manual Slide Presentation – please place the mouse cursor over the slide and use the arrows to move to the next slide.

Footnote: A subsequent report sponsored by the NPSP, (Quantifying Tree Canopy Cover Change within the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters,2018) indicated that, compared to the entire NPSP municipality and between 1997 and 2017, Kent Town has fared poorly on both public and private land with the extent of tree canopy cover decreasing, the proportion of hard surfaces increasing and the extent of plantable ground decreasing.

On a range of factors compared to other suburbs and the entire municipality of NPSP between 1997 and 2017: 

  • In Kent Town, tree canopy cover on both public and private land decreased from 20% to 16% while it remained at approximately 25% across NPSP.
  • In Kent Town, tree canopy cover on private land decreased from 19% to 15% yet it decreased less, from 23% to 21% across NPSP.
  • In Kent Town, tree canopy cover on public land decreased from 22% to 20% and yet over the entire municipality, it increased at a greater rate, from 30% to 34%.
  • In Kent Town, hard surfaces on both public and private land increased from 70% to 77% yet over the entire municipality, increased less, from only 57% to 61%.
  • In Kent Town, hard surfaces on private land, increased from 68% to 75% and yet over the entire municipality, increased similarly from 58% to 64%.
  • In Kent Town hard surfaces on public land increased from 74% to 78%, yet it decreased over the entire municipality, from 55% to 54%.
  •  Of the suburbs studied, Felixstow showed the highest tree canopy cover increase (23% – 28%) due mostly to the canopy growth of existing trees. Yet conversely in Kent Town it decreased from 20% to 16%.
  • Kent Town showed the highest hard surface increase from 70% to 77%, “due mostly to urban infill.” 
  • Plantable public land (grass/bare ground, over the entire municipality) decreased from 12% to 9%. In Kent Town, total plantable ground decreased at a greater rate, from 10% to 7%.      Go  Back.