Planter boxes and productive trees

Some streets in Yarra have enough space for a planter box on the footpath or in unused parts of the road. You also might have a garden area nearby that is suitable for a productive fruit or nut tree.

To determine if your street is suitable for a planter box or your nature strip is suitable for a productive tree, there are a few things that you need to consider:

  • Pedestrian access
  • Parking access
  • Visibility for cyclists
  • Proximity to services like parking signs, telecommunications pits, power poles, etc.

Please read our Let’s Grow Together – How to Apply for a Community Growing Space guide for more information.

What does it cost?

  • There is an annual fee for all planter boxes which contributes to administration, monitoring, materials and insurance for the program.
  • This fee will be outlined in the workshop and may vary depending on garden type.
  • Concession rates are available and the current maximum annual fee is capped at below $60 per year.
  • There is no fee for unsuccessful applications or for productive trees.
  • We provide public liability insurance, but if there is a claim against the planter box you will be responsible for paying the excess.

What are my responsibilities?

Planter boxes

  • We will provide you with a planter box as part of the agreement.
  • You will need to provide the soil and plants to go into the box.
  • You must maintain your planter boxes and the area immediately surrounding it.
  • If the planter box and the surrounding area is not maintained, your planter box may be removed.

Productive trees

  • You will need to purchase your own productive tree.
  • Our Urban Agriculture team will provide you with a list of suitable trees to choose from.
  • You must maintain your productive tree and the area immediately surrounding it. This includes watering, pruning, pest control and harvesting.
  • If the tree or area around it is not maintained, it may be removed. 
  • We provide public liability insurance, but if there is a claim against productive tree, you will be responsible for paying the excess.

How do I apply for a planter box and/or productive tree?

Attend a workshop

  • You must attend a workshop before submitting your application.
  • Workshops are held twice a year in March and September.
  • The workshop includes detailed information on the application process as well as tips on making the most of growing in small spaces.
  • Most importantly, workshops provide an opportunity to ask questions and chat to our Urban Agriculture team.
  • Dates will be announced on our What's On Calendar several weeks prior to the event.
  • You can also keep up to date with workshop dates and other Urban Agriculture news by signing up to our Urban Agriculture e-newsletter.

Get approval from your neighbours

  • Once you have identified a suitable location for your planter box or productive tree, you need to consult with your neighbours to ensure they are happy with your plans.
  • All of your neighbours within 25m of the proposed location must be consulted.
  • A minimum of 85% of these neighbours must support your application for it to be approved.
  • Any objections over this threshold will be considered on their merit. 

Submit your application

Applications for planter boxes and productive trees can be submitted online. Follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the Community growing spaces application form.
  2. Draw your site diagram and record approval from your neighbours using the templates included.
  3. Scan your application form.
  4. Read our application user guide  to help with submitting an online application, creating a new login and setting your password.
  5. Check our Community Growing Spaces FAQ for answers to any questions you have while preparing your application.
  6. Submit your application online.

What happens next?

  1. You will receive an application number and it will be sent directly to our Urban Agriculture team for assessment.
  2. This process can take up to two months. This is because applications must be assessed by an internal panel to make sure safety and access requirements are met.
  3. You will be notified once your application has been processed and if approved you will be invoiced for the fee (where applicable).
  4. A copy of the agreement with council will be sent to you and will be valid for 12 months.
  5. After the 12 months, you will be contacted by us to see whether you would like to continue.
  6. If so, a renewal letter and invoice will be sent to you.