Australia is home to many grasslands, rainforests, savannahs and diverse woodlands. Trees and canopies cover a significant portion of the country.
Such greeneries are crucial in keeping the suburbs livable. They are vital in our surroundings. Besides, trees can be a flood-proofing tool.
To learn more about trees and their role in our environment, let us go through some of the top tree statistics in Australia.
Australian Forest Areas
- Australia is globally recognised as the country with the seventh-largest forest area, covering 3% of the world’s total forest area.
- 39% or 51.8 million hectares of Australia’s forest is within the vicinity of Queensland and is the country’s largest area of forest.
- Australia’s Northern Territory covers 23.7 million hectares of forest, while Western Australia and New South Wales cover 21.0 million hectares and 20.4 million hectares.
- Eucalyptus forests cover 77% of Australia’s national forest land, while acacia forests make up 8 %. The melaleuca and rainforest form 5% and 3% of the total.
- Forests are typically preserved and confined to regions where the annual average rainfall exceeds 500 millimetres.
- Of the 132 million hectares of native forest, 47.2 million hectares are on leasehold land, and 41.0 million hectares are on land under a private freehold title.
- 88.2 million hectares or 67% of the country’s native forest is under some type of private and restricted management.
- Consequently, 21.7 million hectares (17%) of Australia’s native forests are within formal nature conservation reserves, while 9.8 million hectares (7.4%) are in multiple-use public native forests.
- Australia’s 134 million hectares of forest is equivalent to 17% of the country’s land area.
- One hundred thirty-two million hectares or 98% of Australia’s total forest area, are considered ‘Native forests’. ‘Commercial plantations’ cover 1.95 million hectares, while the 0.47 million hectares are ‘Other forests’.
Native Trees and Canopies
- The country has a staggering 24,000 species of native plants and trees. Acacia, grevillea, emu bushes, and gum trees (eucalyptus) are among the most common Australian trees found in native forests.
- The King’s Holly from Tasmania is Australia’s oldest-known tree. It has been around for about 43,000 years.
- The tallest living tree in the register is a 99.8-metre gum known as the Centurion in the Arve Valley, Tasmania. It was identified and measured in 2008.
- A study from the University of Technology Sydney showed that the greenest capital city of Australia is Hobart, with tree canopies covering about 59% of the Tasmanian capital.
- Tree canopies cover 49% of Brisbane and 28% of Darwin. They make up the top three greenest cities in Australia, with Hobart as the number one.
- Sydney and Melbourne are in the bottom two ranks of the greenest cities, at 15% and 13%, respectively.
Deforestation & Tree Cover Loss
- Approximately 500,000 hectares of native woodlands and forests are destroyed across Australia every year.
- Due to excessive tree-clearing, an estimate of 750 million native animals in Australia will die by 2030.
- There are about 24 billion standard trees in Australia. These trees have a trunk diameter of 30 centimetres and stand approximately 15 metres tall.
- Australia has lost 62 hectares of humid primary forest from 2002 to 2021. In the same period, the country’s total humid forest area reduced by 0.49%.
- 2.9 % of tree cover loss in Australia occurred in areas where the dominant drivers of loss spawned deforestation.
- The top 2 regions, namely New South Wales and Western Australia, were responsible for 59% of all tree cover loss from 2001 to 2021.
- New South Wales recorded the most tree cover loss at 2.88Mha, significantly higher than the average of 970 kha.
- Australia is currently facing a land clearing and deforestation crisis, with an MCG-sized area of woodlands and forests bulldozed every 86 seconds.
- About 50% of the country’s forests and bushlands from the pre-European arrival have been permanently destroyed and cleared for other land use. Most of these areas are now regrowing vegetation, classifying them into degraded forests and bushlands.
26. As of today, only 50% of Australia’s historical forests and bushlands remain intact.
- Since 1750, the country has lost 27% of the total rainforest, 28% of mallee forest, 19% of open forest, and 11% of the woodland forest.
- In recent years, Australia’s aggressive level of land clearing has ranked the fastest among the developed countries.
- Tree felling and related activities account for serious injuries and fatalities of workers each year. Australian data shows that about 65% of casualties occur during tree felling, 20% during lopping/trimming, and 7% during clearing/cutting trees.
- Most tree removals occur around major development sites rather than in undeveloped areas. Trees can be removed or bulldozed to provide land access, scaffolding, and other development purposes.
Trees are vital and invaluable. However, the tree statistics show that they often go through destructive incidents of abuse and irresponsible handling for short-term gains.
Care for the trees in your property and your neighbourhood by partnering with a professional tree arborist company. A well-rounded team like Trees Down Under ensures that your trees are well-maintained and healthy.
Let us take our part and be responsible for preserving the environment. Our little help can go a long way. Reach out to Trees Down Under any time!