Unit of competency details

AHCARB202A - Fell small trees (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to AHCPCM203 - Fell small treesThis unit is equivalent to AHCARB202A Fell small trees. 26/Jun/2016
Supersedes RTC2005A - Fell small trees21/Jul/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Jun/2011

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050301 Horticulture  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050301 Horticulture  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit covers the process of small tree felling and defines the standard required to: prepare and properly maintain equipment; determine the tree felling conditions, direction of fall, safe fall zone, exclusion zone and escape route; use safe tree felling techniques; use safe tree removal techniques.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to the process of small tree felling where hazards have been assessed as low risk.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify tree felling requirements

1.1. Instructions for tree felling operations are received and clarified with supervisor prior to work being undertaken.

1.2. Topography and site conditions are assessed and factors influencing the natural direction of fall are identified and confirmed with supervisor.

1.3. Tree is visually assessed and factors influencing the tree felling operation are identified and confirmed with supervisor.

1.4. Natural direction of fall, safe fall zone and exclusion zone are determined and confirmed with supervisor.

1.5. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) hazards associated with felling operation are identified, risks assessed and reported to the supervisor.

2. Prepare for tree felling

2.1. Felling equipment and component options that are appropriate to the task being undertaken are selected and prepared.

2.2. Appropriate support tools are prepared, transported and placed to minimise felling delays.

2.3. Suitable safety equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are selected, checked, used, maintained and stored.

2.4. Fall zone is cleared of obstacles and articles which may be damaged by felled tree.

2.5. Clear escape route is established appropriate to the site and according to recognised guidelines.

3. Fell tree

3.1. Location of other personnel is noted and monitored.

3.2. Standard tree felling techniques are determined by ground conditions and state of canopy.

3.3. Corrective action is taken in response to changing conditions or problems encountered.

3.4. Planned escape route is used when tree starts to fall.

3.5. Fall of tree and movement on ground are monitored until felled tree is stable.

3.6. Safe working practices are employed according to OHS requirements.

4. Complete tree felling operation

4.1. Appropriate method of clearing the site of felled tree is determined.

4.2. Machinery required for removal of felled tree is selected and used according to manufacturer's specifications and OHS requirements.

4.3. Fall site is cleared of tree and all tree debris.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • interpret work procedures
  • demonstrate safe working practices
  • communicate orally and using hand signals with other personnel
  • participate in teams and contribute to team objectives
  • determine safe fall zones and exclusion zones
  • measure distances
  • monitor and maintain tree felling tools and equipment
  • recognise structural defects, common diseases, pests, and nutrition deficiencies
  • operate a chainsaw
  • recognise caution or hazard signs and symbols
  • interpret tasks or information from labels, manuals or written instructions
  • record information accurately or verbally report information
  • use literacy skills to follow sequenced written instructions and record information accurately and legibly
  • use oral communication skills/language competence to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and seeking advice from supervisor
  • use numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures
  • use interpersonal skills to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Required knowledge 

  • basic operational and maintenance requirements of tree felling equipment
  • safe working practices for chainsaw operation
  • safety procedures and potential hazards for working safely in the amenity tree industry
  • emergency and first aid procedures
  • the effect of tree removal on the environment
  • local government regulations that apply to tree removal where appropriate
  • identification of services and other hazards that affect the performance of the unit
  • principles and methods of inspecting trees to identify structural defects.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy holistically all of the requirements of the performance criteria and required skills and knowledge and include achievement of the following:

  • prepare and properly maintain equipment
  • determine the tree felling conditions, direction of fall, safe fall zone, exclusion zone and escape route
  • use safe tree felling techniques
  • use safe tree removal techniques

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Competency requires the application of work practices under work conditions. Selection and use of resources for some worksites may differ due to the regional or enterprise circumstances.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole.

Trees may include:

  • all species of trees and woody tree like vegetation forms.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field