Julie Roach

Julie describes herself as a horticulturist specialising in arboriculture; others call her the ‘Tree Lady’.

Her respect for the intrinsic value of trees began in the Adelaide Hills while growing up on a dairy farm. Julie’s professional life has always been horticulture-based. She started as a trainee in Adelaide Botanic Gardens, then travelled to study amenity horticulture at Massey University in Palmerston in northern New Zealand. When she returned, she spent a further 10 years with Adelaide Botanic Gardens where she mostly worked in the Home Garden Advisory Service and curated the herbarium of cultivated plants and Seed Bank collection. There she became proficient in determining how cultural and environmental influences predispose plants to pest and disease.

The following 25 years were spent in Townsville, where she worked predominantly for the Townsville City Council as Horticultural and Arboricultural Officer. During this time, she gained a Bachelor of Applied Science from Charles Sturt University and a Diploma of Horticulture (Arboriculture) from the then Barrier Reef TAFE while raising her son, Thomas.

There, Julie learnt about tree selection, resilience and response to severe storm events through assessing and overseeing tree works. She learnt that careful tree selection and placement is vital within the urban environment. While trees are remarkably tolerant and resilient, caring for the space in which they grow is vital, and starts with the ‘health’ and structural integrity of the soil.

More recently, Julie worked as a consulting arborist for local government, schools and developers.

She wrote regular columns on gardens for the local newspaper and spoke to school and community groups on trees and gardening topics. As a part-time TAFE horticulture teacher based in Townsville, she loved passing on the passion for growing plants, managing trees and urban horticulture in general.

Julie believes her strength is in communicating complex science into accessible language, and brings a diverse palette of tree experience with her to her role as Experienced Consulting Arborist with Tree Logic.

She says: “Trees are dynamic and responsive organisms. They don’t waste their energy growing for the sake of it; everything is done on balance and for the better of the whole; either tree or local ecosystem based. Trees know what they are doing and respond best when you can work with them.”

To reenergise, you will find Julie wandering around in the bush or in parkland taking in the subtleties of nature or trying to keep up with her dog.