Media response - trees, verges and weeds

Published on 16 November 2021

Response to ABC Radio Adelaide.

  • A caller complained of high weeds, unmaintained verges and tree planting in the City of Onkaparinga, suggesting council was only planting 300 trees in 2022.


How many trees is City of Onkaparinga planting next year?

In 2017, council set a target to plant 100,000 trees in 20 years, and since then, we’ve planted 40,000. This includes street trees, trees in parks and trees as part of our revegetation program in waterways and bushland.

The “300 trees” figure mentioned by the resident refers to additional trees planted through our new Adopt a Tree program, which will allow Onkaparinga homeowners to adopt a tree and be part of Onkaparinga’s urban forest from February 2022. As part of this joint commitment, we'll grow the tree in our nursery, plant it on the resident’s verge, provide informal health checks and prune it. Like any new family member, the resident’s role would be to water and care for it so that it thrives.

Our Urban Forest team plan and plant entire streets and suburbs during April-September each year as part of our Suburb Improvement Program. This program involves a detailed assessment of tree canopy cover, urban heat island mapping and social, with the data used to direct tree planting to the suburbs that need it most.

Street trees planted through our Suburb Improvement Program of works are watered, cared for and pruned by council as part of a scheduled maintenance program. However, if residents believe their council tree needs pruning, they can lodge a customer request and we’ll send one of our Urban Forest team out to assess it, and if required give it a trim.

For more information visit

Who’s responsible for maintaining road verges?

Maintenance of the road verge—the strip of council land between a property boundary and the adjacent roadway—is the responsibility of the property owner and all verge works must be undertaken in accordance with our Road Verge Landscaping Guidelines.

Council does weed spraying on urban and township verges, which is undertaken a minimum of three times annually, depending on weather conditions. Where required, follow-up brush cutting is done to neaten verges. Residents may elect not to have chemicals applied on the verge fronting their property, in which case an agreement is formalised conditional on the property owner accepting certain maintenance responsibilities.

We receive many resident requests for maintenance work, including weed removal, on Department for Infrastructure and Transport roads e.g. Main South Road, that fall outside council’s jurisdiction. There is a list of non-council roads and DIT contact details to report road hazards, request weed clearance, etc. at our website.