Ipswich City Council is investing in pilots of Water Smart Street Trees at selected locations across the city.

The Water Smart Street Tree project is funded through council's Stormwater Quality Offsets program.

Find more information in the Water Smart Street Trees fact sheet (PDF, 445.6 KB)

What is 'smart' about these trees?

Water Smart Street Trees are an innovative way of using stormwater to nourish street trees.

It works by diverting stormwater to the root zone of street trees planted next to the kerb.

The trees help improve the health of our waterways as they capture nutrients and sediments that would otherwise wash into our rivers and creeks.

This means they are sustainable self-watering street trees.

What does it look like?

There are different design configurations that could be used, depending on the site features and landscape.

Water Smart Street Tree diagram

  1. Some water is diverted from the kerb to the tree
  2. Stormwater filters into the soil, removing pollutants and nourishing tree
  3. Underdrainage is connected to the stormwater network
  4. Any excess water flows back to kerb

How you can help

The best thing you can do for your Water Smart Street Tree is to do nothing at all.

It's vital you don't:

  • trim or remove the tree
  • replace the tree with a different species
  • use any fertilisers or add extra soil
  • modify the soil level or type.


Water Smart Street Trees bring a lot of great benefits to our neighbourhoods and waterways.

Council has designed Water Smart Street Trees to fit neatly into the streetscape and landscape.

Benefits of healthy trees in neighbourhoods include:

  • Urban cooling, which makes neighbourhoods more liveable
  • Beautification of suburban areas and increased property values
  • Air quality improvements.

By using stormwater, the Water Smart Street Tree system:

  • provides a healthy growing environment for the targeted tree species
  • Protects our waterways by removing stormwater runoff pollutants in a process known as 'bio filtration'
  • Reduces need for active irrigation and the associated costs (such as pipes, pumps, sprinklers, energy, maintenance)
  • Reduces demands on our stormwater networks and on drinking water supplies.

How is it funded?

The Water Smart Street Trees project is funded through the Stormwater Quality Offsets program.

These projects must reduce pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorous, suspended solids and gross pollutants.

These pollutants have significant negative impact on our waterways.