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Reading Canberra’s history through its tree leaves

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Autumn in Canberra can be spectacular. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

To many of us, Canberra is synonymous with trees. In fact, some would argue the Bush Capital looks its best when sporting autumnal colours in its streets, parks and laneways.

But that wasn’t always the case.

In 2015, forest canopy covered 19 per cent of the ACT’s urban area and by 2045 the ACT Government wants to see that hit 30 per cent.

It’s an ambitious target, particularly if you consider that when Canberra was developed back in the early 1900s the site had been badly denuded.

“Black Mountain had been mostly cleared – anything with grazing potential had been cleared,” Canberra University Adjunct Associate Professor Dianne Firth said.

“The site for Canberra…



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