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Public Notice: Unauthorised cutting and pruning of trees located on municipal land

Following a number of incidents of unauthorised cutting and pruning of trees by residents where the trees are located on municipal land, the George Municipality’s Parks and Recreation department and the George Tree Committee would like to communicate details of George Municipality Tree Management Policy for public awareness. According to Nosidima Vumindaba, Manager: Parks and Recreation, George Municipality has a Tree Management Policy that is a guide to a uniform approach for the management of trees. The municipality strives to manage trees in a professional manner under the guidance of skilled professionals.

Tree Management Policy

The Tree Management Policy regulates the protection, planting, and removal of trees by ensuring an integrated city-wide approach based on sound arboriculture practices. Integrated spatial development frameworks and service level agreements between Municipal Directorates to prevent unnecessary damage to trees during construction works or related activities. Vumindaba says the tree management policy seeks to develop partnerships with suppliers, property developers, ratepayers’ organizations, environmental groups (and others) to promote tree planting and the importance of trees within the urban context and promote the protection of arboreal landscapes, tree lanes and tree avenues of heritage significance.

She said the tree management strives to improve understanding and awareness of the importance of lifecycles of trees within the habitats and environments found in George, including their contribution to reducing the Municipality’s carbon footprint, together with oxygen production.

Tree Removal according to the Tree Management Policy:

  • The premise that underpins the management of trees in George is that all trees are valuable and therefore any request or decisions for removal of trees need to be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis by the Parks and Recreation section.
  • No person may prune or remove a tree planted on Municipal land without prior authority from the Parks and Recreation Department. In the event of a person or persons being guilty of such an act, the municipality may impose the necessary fines as a result of contravention.
  • Trees declared as a protected species in terms of the Forest Act, 1998 (Act 84 of 1998) may not be pruned or removed without the permission from the Ministery of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment.
  • In order to prevent unnecessary damage to trees during construction work, all developers and utility companies/contractors should obtain a wayleave from Parks and Recreation prior to commencing construction work.
  • Pruning or removal of all trees on municipal property shall be done by Parks and Recreation or its appointed service providers. In the event of a person or persons being guilty of such an act, the municipality may impose the necessary fines as a result of contravention.

The municipality has also noted the ongoing destruction of Camphor trees through bark stripping especially in forested areas. Bark stripping damages the tree and might expose the trees to insect diseases. Harvesting of bark of the Camphor trees located on municipal land is illegal. The George Municipality urges the community to immediately report any suspicion of unauthorized cutting , pruning of trees and harvesting of barks of trees to the Parks Department.

For further information you can make contact with the Parks and Recreation department on 044 802 2900 or email