Illegal tree feller caught

Three mature Chinese elm trees were illegally felled by a resident who was later billed for the damaged caused.

The City of Cape Town has taken a Claremont resident to task for illegally felling three mature trees.

Claremont residents were left fuming after the Chinese elms along Kenmar Crescent and Highwick Avenue were cut down.

Ward councillor Ian Iversen said the City had identified the culprit, who could not be named at the time of going to print. The resident is being held liable for the damages and has been ordered to replace the four-metre high Chinese elms and rehabilitate the verge to its original condition as well as maintain the trees for the next three years.

“Only non-potable water may be used to irrigate the trees until the water restrictions are lifted. All costs are for the account of the property owner,” Mr Iversen said.

When Amy Johannssen went on her morning stroll with her two dogs, she ended up spending nearly half and hour staring in disbelief at the tree stumps.

“I was amazed that somebody even had the heart to do that,” she said.

Another angry resident is Siyamthemba Cubeka, who passes the area daily on his way to work.

“The area looks bare and very ugly without the trees. There was very little appreciation for area shown in this act, an act which is truly disgusting. This person has to be prosecuted – years of growth cut down by some idiot,” he said.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said she had heard a chainsaw one morning, but assumed the City was trimming the trees. It was only a few hours later as she travelled along Kenmar Crescent that she realised what had really happened.

“Yes, they are only just trees, but it gave the area some character and beautified the space. I actually ended up pulling over to take in these horrific scenes. Why would one just cut down these trees?”