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Melbourne Water is committed to enhancing life and liveability in your area. To improve the local amenity, natural habitat and safety for High Street road users and pedestrians, we are proposing to remove the stand of Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pines trees that are within the Preston Reservoir site.

Why this is important

The large stands of non-native Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pine trees were planted in the 1930s on each site to provide dust protection and shading for the water supply tanks that were not covered as they are now.

These trees are now at the end of their safe, useful life expectancy and need to be removed to ensure public safety and protection of essential water supply assets. The risk of limbs and branches falling is too high to leave the trees standing and we have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the public and staff accessing the site. These trees will be replaced with indigenous revegetation at all three sites.

What works are taking place

  • Community was engaged during the creation of the 2013 Landscape Plan for the site. As part of this plan, Melbourne Water committed to ensuring public safety from the trees, which have been regularly assessed by arborists over the last 15 years. 
  • Melbourne Water have also been engaging with Darebin Council and Heritage Victoria to obtain a heritage permit for the works to ensure that the site’s historic assets remain safe and protected.
  • We propose to remove all the Monterey Cypress trees on all three sites, along with a number of Monterey Pines that are deemed dangerous and several native trees at Preston tank 3 site.
  • Once the trees are removed, we will undertake revegetation with native species local to the area.

Map of where trees will be removed or pruned as part of Preston Reservoir works


Along High Street: 

  • 5x Radiata pine will be removed
  • 8x She-oaks will be replaced
  • 34 Cypressus macrocarpa will be removed on the eastern side of Reservoir 1
  • 14x Cypressus macrocarpa will be removed on the southern side of Reservoir 1.

To the north of reservoirs 2 and 3, the following will be removed:

  • 15x Pinus radiata
  • 1x Eucalyptus botryoides
  • 1x Cypressus macrocarpa

Natives on the eastern side of Reservoir Three will be pruned.

Along the southern side of Reservoir Three, 25x Cypressus macrocarpa will be removed.


The revegetation works will improve the biodiversity of the area and will encourage birds and other fauna.

The removal of the trees will also allow the natural regeneration of native species thereby improving native wildlife habitat and amenity.


We will require traffic management along High Street and aim to coordinate any road closures with other works in the area to minimise disruption to local residents and road users.

The works to remove the trees will are expected to begin June 2021 with completion by October 2021. This will be followed by revegetation works to be completed by December 2021.

Last updated:
2 June 2021