City of Joburg

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All queries should be channelled through the call centre, Joburg Connect, which can be contacted 24 hours, seven days a week, on 0860 56 28 74 or 011 375 5555 For each query, you will get a reference number. Make sure you keep this number so that you can follow up your query. Email: Facebook Youtube

A tree that is dead, dying poses a danger if left standing. Dead branches can easily fall and a decaying tree can be a health hazard because of mold and bacteria. Live trees may need to be removed if they are obstructing other trees or coming into contact with a house or electrical wires. Use the following steps to remove a tree.

*** Note: CoJ residents aren’t allowed to remove any tree on the pavements. To request pruning or removal of a tree in front of your property, please call Joburg Connect and choose the option for all other City enquiries.

Steps on how to remove a tree

  1. Determine if the tree needs to be removed: You might only need to remove a few branches if the tree is interfering with another object.
  2. Clear the area of objects: Check to make sure the tree isn't caught up in wires or other trees. Make sure there is room for the tree to lie flat on the ground. This involves estimating the height of the tree
  3. Establish which way the tree naturally leans: Take a step back so you can see the entire tree and the surroundings. A tree will be much easier to remove if you can fell it the way it's organically angled though it is possible to fell a tree in any direction
  4. Check the trunk of the tree for decay and evidence of hollowness: A decayed or hollow trunk is unpredictable. You might not be able to fell it to direction you intend because a decayed tree can collapse at any point
  5. Set up at least 2 escape routes: These routes should be clear of obstacles. Escape routes are used if the tree begins to fall out of control.
  6. Use the correct-sized saw for your tree: Small trees can be sawed with a handsaw. You will need a chainsaw for trees with a trunk diameter of more than 30.48 cm.
  7. Decide where the tree should fall.
  8. Cut straight into the opposite about 5.08 cm above the undercut: This is called the back cut and it releases the stress the undercut places on the tree.
  9. Move out of the way when the tree begins to fall.
  10. Remove all the branches: Start from the bottom of the tree and work your way up to the top
  11. Remove the tree stump: Dig the stump out with a pick and a spade