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 Urban Agriculture guidelines (PDF 10.3MB) 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 $65 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 plants.
  • 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

Prior to submitting your application you must attend a workshop. This will help you understand the application process, how to successfully grow in small spaces and provide the opportunity to ask any questions.

  • Workshops are held online twice a year in March and August.
  • Register your interest to attend a workshop by emailing [email protected].
  • We will notify registrants of the workshop dates but you can also check the What's On Calendar for dates in the lead up to the workshops.

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

You will be sent the application form and supporting information the day after attending the workshop. Once your application is ready follow the instructions and submit your form online.

What happens next?

Once the Urban Agriculture team have received your application the process of verification and assessment takes approximately two months. You are then notified via email about the success of your application.